An AiTelly video shows the inside of the weapons systems of these ships

This is how a United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer works

On July 4, 1991, the destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) entered service with the US Navy, being the first of its class.

The beautiful caps with Spanish flags of the American destroyer USS Arleigh Burke
The images of the largest aircraft carrier in the world sailing off the Spanish coast

Since then, the US Navy has commissioned 73 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and a total of 92 ships of this type are planned. The most recent destroyer of this class to enter active is the USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125), launched on November 8, 2019 and commissioned on October 7, 2023. In total, there are four variants of this class in active service: Flight I (1988), Flight II (1992), Flight IIA (1994) and Flight III (2013). The Flight I and II variants have a length of 154 meters, which is extended to 155.3 meters in the Flight IIA and Flight III variants. The initial ships of this class had a displacement of 8,400 tons, which has risen to 9,900 tons in the most recent ones.

The USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) sailing through the Persian Gulf on April 15, 2014. The photo shows the absence of hangars next to the flight deck, a characteristic of the destroyers of this class in their Flight I and variants. Flight II (Photo: U.S. Navy).

One of the most notable characteristics of these destroyers is that they are equipped with an Aegis combat system, which is only used by ships of a very small and select number of navies: USA, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Spain and Norway. Like the Spanish frigates of the Álvaro de Bazán class (F-100), the Arleigh Burke class destroyers carry the Aegis system radar antennas next to the bridge, but with a solution less efficient than the Spanish ships: while they carry the radar antennas on the bridge, the American destroyers carry them below.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), in the foreground, and USS Mason (DDG 87) during an exercise. In this image we can distinguish two of the antennas of the Aegis combat system that these ships carry under their command bridge (Photo: U.S. Navy).

The Arleigh Burke class ships are excellently armed destroyers. The first ships of this class (up to the DDG-80) carried a 127 mm 54 Mk 45 Mod 1/2 main gun, replaced on later ships by a Mk 45 Mod 4 of the same caliber. Additionally, all destroyers of this class carry one 20 mm Phalanx CIWS as short-range anti-aircraft armament, two 25 mm Mk 38 heavy machine guns as defense against surface targets and two Mk 32 triple torpedo launchers.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) launching a surface-to-air missile during exercise RIMPAC 2010 (Photo: U.S. Navy).

The ship's main armament is missiles, housed in two launchers, one in the bow, in front of the bridge, and another in the superstructure in the stern area. Flights I and II carry 29 missiles in their bow launcher and 61 in their stern launcher, while Flights IIA and III carry 32 missiles in their bow launcher and 64 missiles in the stern launcher. . These launchers can fire surface-to-air missiles RIM-66M, RIM-156, RIM-174A, RIM-161 and RIM-162 ESSM, surface-to-surface missiles BGM-109 Tomahawk and anti-submarine missiles RUM-139. Additionally, Flights I and II carry two Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers, with the capacity to launch a total of eight missiles. Additionally, the US Navy has added a SeaRAM surface-to-air missile launcher to some of these ships.

An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter about to land on the flight deck of the USS Arleigh Burke in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean on February 22, 2014 (Photo: U.S. Navy).

In addition, all Arleigh Burke class destroyers have a flight deck on their stern, with the capacity to operate MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters. The Flights IIA and III type ships incorporate two hangars next to the flight deck to accommodate these aircraft. As passive defenses, these destroyers carry AN/SLQ-25 Nixie countermeasure launchers against torpedoes and an AN/SLQ-32 electronic warfare system.

Yesterday, the YouTube channel AiTelly published an interesting video explaining how it works of this type of destroyersand showing what their weapons systems are like inside:


Main photo: U.S. Navy. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Kidd (DDG 100), left, and USS Rafael Paralta (DDG 115) sail through the Pacific Ocean on January 22, 2020.

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