Happy 25th, DDG-51
This 4th of July will enjoy extra significance for the U.S. Navy, as it marks the 25th anniversary of a ship class that has become a bulwark of the fleet—the Arleigh Burke–class guided-missile destroyer.
When the first-in-class USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) was commissioned on 4 July 1991, it marked the dawn of a new warship era. The innovative Burke class was the first to boast the Aegis combat system and the SPY-1D multifunction passive electronically scanned array radar. The multimission Burkes were conceived with versatility in mind, with antiair-, antisubmarine-, and antisurface-warfare roles all within their wheelhouse. Through the past quarter-century, the Burkes have been constructed in flights to accommodate technological advances. Flight II debuted in Fiscal Year 1992, Flight IIA in FY 94, and Flight III is slated to begin in 2016. Today, 62 Burkes operate in the fleet, with a total of 76 planned. And from the Bosnian War to the fight against ISIS, the USS Arleigh Burke and sister ships have proven their worth time and again.