The U.S. Navy's leadership is shirking its responsibilities by letting Congress determine the size and composition of the Fleet rather than insisting on a force that reflects the service's view of the
ships that are needed. The Navy's leadership, having turned against the long-touted DDG-1000 program, now appears to be backing a move by several members of Congress to reopen the construction of destroyers of the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class.
Yet during the past several years, three successive Chiefs of Naval Operations—Admirals Vern Clark, Mike Mullen, and Gary Roughead—had been adamant that they wanted no additional Burke-class ships beyond the 62 now in service and under construction.
The DDG-1000 program was originally to provide 32 destroyers—at almost 15,000-tons full load (the size of cruisers)—optimized for operations in the littorals. The Navy later reduced the DDG-1000 "buy" to seven ships, to be funded in Fiscal Years 2007-2013. The only explanation given for the cutback was higher-than-expected costs, although no cost data was provided.