Designing the Arleigh Burke's Hull
For many of the men and women who form the crews of the Navy's warships, the process generally involves going aboard, learning their jobs, and then doing those jobs—without a great deal of knowledge or appreciation of the factors that made each ship the way she is. As a former ship driver myself, I plead guilty. When I was on board, I just sort of accepted a ship's shape, size, and form as givens.
My education on the subject got a boost recently in a conversation with David Byers, a civilian naval architect. He retired a few years ago after a long career with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NavSea). Our discussion was almost a clinic in the pragmatic factors that go into ship design. Above all, he emphasized that any given warship is the product of compromise.