She may not have enough sailors to handle the demands of wartime damage control; reservists could fill the gap.
The revolutionary next-generation surface combatant, DD-21, has not even been designed, much less built—yet already she is fatally flawed. The problem: insufficient manning to support wartime damage-control repair parties. This is a critical issue, because this class and its follow-on, the CG-21, are to be the bulwark of the Navy's surface fighting force in the first half of the 21st century.
The Navy expects that the same sorts of daring technological innovations and progressive design techniques that will make these craft such powerful warships also will reduce maintenance requirements and automate most operational functions. The result will be significant reductions in day-to-day manning and thus significant savings in life-cycle costs. The vulnerability that this reduced manning creates supposedly will be offset by enhanced self-defense systems that reduce the probability of a hit, and by automated damage-control systems that minimize the effects of a hit.