US Navy Approves Service Life Extension for 4 Arleigh-Burke Class Destroyers
USS Ramage (DDG 61) and USS Benfold (DDG 65) have been extended by five years to FY2035 and FY2036, respectively. The life of USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and USS Milius (DDG 69) has also been extended by four years to FY2034 and FY2035, respectively.
These follow the March 2023 extension of USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) by five years through FY2031. The extension puts each destroyer beyond their estimated service life of 35 years.
‘These service life extensions demonstrate the navy’s commitment to ensuring the surface fleet has the right capability and capacity,’ said Rear Adm Fred Pyle, director of Surface Warfare (N96).
‘Adding 23 years of service life cumulatively over the last six months is a significant investment in surface warfare. These extensions align [with] Secretary of the Navy Del Toro’s commitment to Congress during the FY2024 posture hearings to analyse service life on a hull-by-hull basis and extend the correct ships in order to be good stewards of resources invested in the US Navy by the American people.’
Each of these ships have received Aegis baseline nine upgrades through the DDG Modernisation programme – which has provided a comprehensive mid-life modernisation to these destroyers.
The modernisation ensures that the ships have the right systems to remain capable and reliable to the end of their service life.
The surface community will continue to evaluate the service life of each surface ship based on combat relevance, reliability data and material condition. Currently, the Navy has 73 Arleigh Burke-classdestroyers in service and is continuing to modernize the class with the latest technologies and capabilities.
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