For two decades Norman Friedman's account of the development of American destroyers has been a standard reference. The revised edition includes the two eventful decades of designs since the Spruance and Perry classes. The design evolution of the Arleigh Burke class, which has become the standard U.S. surface combatant, is described in detail for the first time, based on official sources. Friedman also describes the attempts to develop a follow-on class, beginning in the late 1980s and culminating in the current DD(X) program. Abortive attempts to develop new frigates are also detailed.
Friedman provides fully detailed and illustrated descriptions of all classes of U.S. destroyers, from their torpedo boat forebears onward. Detailed ship profiles by the renowned naval expert A. D. Baker III are included, along with section views that show internal arrangements. Engineering plant features and complete descriptions of antiaircraft and antisubmarine weapon systems also are given. An entire chapter is devoted to destroyer combat experience in World War II, which had a major influence on ship design and development. As the only history of U.S. destroyers based on internal, formerly classified papers of the U.S. Navy, the book is vital reading for all who have served on board these ships and for all who would like to understand the origins of the present destroyer force and its future.