OPNAV N96 recently approved a five-year service life extension for USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51).
First-in-class Arleigh Burke’s estimated service life was 35 years, expected to expire in FY 2026, but efforts began early last year to request additional service time for the ship. The approval extension carries the ship out through FY 2031 now, when the ship will be 40 years old.
According to Rear Adm. Brendan McLane, commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, the extension is a testament to the success of the DDG 51 program as a whole and is an example of the Navy’s enduring relationship with industry partners.
“DDG 51’s are the best warships in history. They demonstrate that there are no limits to what we can accomplish with a strong American Navy-industrial partnership,” McLane said. “Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the Navy’s surface fleet and critical to the Nation and the Navy today and long into the future.”
A DDG modernization program is underway to provide a comprehensive mid-life upgrade that will ensure the DDG 51 class possesses the latest long-range fires and terminal defense capabilities. The modernization changes are also being introduced to new construction ships to increase the baseline capabilities of the newest ships in the class, and to provide commonality between new construction ships and modernized in-service ships. The goal of the DDG modernization effort is to increase warfighting capabilities and drive commonality, which enable these ships to remain relevant, to their service life, against current and future threats.
After 30 years in Norfolk, Va., Arleigh Burke shifted homeports to Rota, Spain, on March 26, 2021, to be forward-deployed in U.S. Sixth Fleet. The ship arrived at Naval Station Rota on April 11, 2021, and is on its third patrol.
SURFLANT mans, trains and equips assigned surface forces and shore activities, ensuring a capable force for conducting prompt and sustained operations in support of United States national interests. The SURFLANT force is composed of nearly 80 ships, 17 pre-commissioning units, and more than 30 shore commands.