Again partisans are calling for reactivation of the two Iowa-class battleships still owned by the Navy. Their latest ploy is to propose the two Iowas as alternatives to new-construction DD(X) destroyers. Within the Navy there is no advocate for reactivating the Iowa (BB-61) and Wisconsin (BB-64) in this period of austere funding.
The DD(X) is being designed for combat in the 21st century. The Iowa-class battleships were built in the 1940s for ship-to-ship combat, although they found limited use as gunfire support ships into the early 1990s. To return the battleships to active service would be expensive and would provide virtually no useful military capability.
Manning: Each Iowa requires about 1,500 men and women. This compares to some 335 for an Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) missile destroyer or 125 to 175 for the DD(X). Thus, the people—the most expensive item in the Navy's budget—needed for one battleship could man about ten DD(X)S.