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Navies developing next generation multi-role guided missile destroyers with large firepower and cutting edge sensors

A guided-missile destroyer is a destroyer designed to launch guided missiles. Many are also equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface operations. Defencyclopedia defines a destroyer as “A modern destroyer is a 6000-12,000-ton warship, equipped with an array of long-range missiles, guns, and high power radars, and is designed to operate autonomously or along with a battle group in order to fulfill a variety of tasks which typically consist of land attack, missile defense, and surface warfare”


The NATO standard designation for these vessels is DDG. Nations vary in their use of destroyer D designation in their hull pennant numbering, either prefixing or dropping it altogether. The U.S. Navy has adopted the classification DDG in the American hull classification system.


In addition to the guns, a guided-missile destroyer is usually equipped with two large missile magazines, usually in vertical-launch cells. Some guided-missile destroyers contain powerful radar systems, such as the United States’ Aegis Combat System, and may be adopted for use in an anti-missile or ballistic-missile defense role. This is especially true of navies that no longer operate cruisers, so other vessels must be adopted to fill in the gap.

Features in modern Guided Missile destroyers

Radars: Modern Guided missile destroyers have Electronically Scanning Array (AESA) Radar in C and S bands for primary functions are search, track, and missile guidance. Long-range search radar operating in the VHF band to L-Band with instrumented range from 300- 400+ kms to provide early warning against aerial threats and track ballistic missiles. fire control radar for providing terminal illumination for the SAMs

IRST (Infrared Search and Track) for passive detection and tracking of cruise missiles, aircraft, and other asymmetric threats.

Sonars: Active/passive bow mounted, Hull mounted, or Towed array sonar system

Weapons: Close-in Weapons Systems with high rate of fire of  5800 rds/min and an effective range of 3 km for last ditch defense against cruise missiles.

Armament: 48 cell  to 96 cell launchers for  land attack cruise missiles with 1000+ km range , ballistic and surface to air missiles. Launchers for lightweight torpedoes

Propulsion: Diesel-electric propulsion combined with gas turbine propulsion to achieve maximum power and efficiency. Nuclear propulsion is also being used.


US  Missile destroyers

The Arleigh Burke class is the most successful destroyer class in the world, with 62 warships in service and 7 more under construction. The reduction in the number of Zumwalt-class destroyers to 3 from 32 is going to give a further boost to the Arleigh Burke class, as it is the only destroyer in mass production for now. The number of units is expected to swell to around 80 ships by 2025 with the induction of the improved Flight III ships.


Since their introduction in 1991, they have served in every theater of conflict for the US Navy and carried out escort missions, deterrence patrols, anti-piracy missions, ballistic missile defense duties, land attack, anti-air and HADR (humanitarian and disaster relief) missions, making it rich in terms of combat experience. These 9800-ton ships have powerful radars, a large missile armament, and continuous upgrades, which make them suited to han


New US destroyer Ralph Johnson (DDG 114)

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), during a ceremony Saturday, March 24, at Columbus Street Pier in Charleston, South Carolina.


The ship is equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, which includes an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 5.0 and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air.


Aegis Baseline 9 IAMD destroyers have increased computing power, along with radar upgrades which improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern anti-air warfare and BMD threats.


Ralph Johnson will be capable of engaging in air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare, including Integrated Air and Missile Defense capabilities.


The Aegis Combat System will enable DDG 114 to link radars with other ships and aircraft to provide a composite picture of the battle space. These capabilities are designed to provide the Navy with a 21st century fighting edge.


Russian Next generation Destroyer

Russia’s Defense Ministry has approved the preliminary design of the Lider-class new-generation nuclear-powered missile destroyer. The massive 15,000-18,000 ton destroyers will have nuclear propulsion and are to become a key element of Russia’s naval might in the coming decades.


Bristling with the latest in weapons, communications navigation and electronic warfare design, the massive 15,000-18,000-ton Lider-class destroyers will carry an impressive arsenal of ABM-capable S-500 SAM and Kalibr cruise missiles.


The Lider-class destroyers are designed to protect communications lines on the high seas and destroy major land-based targets with long-range cruise missiles, provide fire support for landing and counter-landing operations, acting both individually or as part of carrier battle groups.


“The Lider will be a universal ship, triple-hatted as a destroyer, large ASW ship and guided missile cruiser while being smaller than Project 1144 ships and carrying far more weaponry,” said Valery Polovinkin, advisor to the director general of the Krylov State Research Center that worked out the destroyer’s preliminary design.


Weapons-wise, the destroyer, whose construction is slated to begin in 2025, will pack more firepower than the 20th-century missile cruisers. It will have excellent seaworthiness and will be able to handle Force 7 storms and offer comfortable living conditions for the crew, Khrolenko wrote.


In terms of their multi-mission capability, the Lider-class destroyers will exceed that of the US Arleigh Burke destroyers and are likely to emulate many strong points of the Project 1144 Orlan nuclear-powered cruisers, including their multilayered air defense capability and powerful anti-ship missiles.


Each Lider-class destroyer is designed to carry up to four launchers for Kalibr-NK and Oniks cruise missiles (200 missiles in all) and long-range shipboard S-500 Prometei air defense systems.


While the ship’s overall look and armaments may change in the course of further design, it is already known that it will be 200 meters long, 23 meters wide, have a draft of 6.6 meters, a crew of 300 and endurance of at least 50 years.


Expensive as truly efficient and multirole oceangoing nuclear destroyers may be, even a small number of such ships will ensure Russia’s naval security and its ability to explore natural resources in the most distant parts of the world oceans, Alexander Khrolenko concluded.


China Guided missile destroyers

China’s Type-52C is 7000-ton ships were built to test several new technologies like electronically scanning radars, long-range SAM system, land attack capability, indigenous closed loop CIWS and a new hull design.


These features make the Type 52C a formidable opponent and laid the pathway for the future Type 52D destroyers with many more refinements and upgrades. This ship class basically heralded the entry into the era 21st-century technological warfare for the PLAN.


China will begin to use this year a 10,000-ton guided missile destroyer, anticipates Collin Koh, maritime security research fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The $750 million, 180-meter-long vessel cost less than American-made Arleigh Burke Flight IIA ships and can to displace slightly more weight.


The Chinese destroyers “would be swiftly integrated into evolving (Chinese) carrier strategy,” Koh says, meaning that “not long after its commissioning, the ship would start to appear in the training exercises we see taking place often in the Western Pacific open seas, and in the South China Sea.”


Shipyards in Dalian and Shanghai are building the new model, dubbed the 055, military intelligence website Southfront.org says. China State Shipbuilding Corp. is heading this project too, Koh believes.


Indian Kolkata class destroyer

Developed under Project-15A, the Kolkata class are the largest indigenously designed and built surface combatants in India. They are equipped with a wide variety of equipment from countries like Italy (main gun), Ukraine (gas turbines), Israel (Jointly developed LR-SAM) and Russia (Jointly developed BrahMos), which gives it the advantage of having cutting edge technology from the east and the west, infused into an Indian platform.


Displacing 7500 tons, the Kolkata class is the most powerful warship class in the Indian fleet, and will soon be joined by 4 ships of the Vishakapatnam class, which will have a similar configuration and capabilities with minor improvements. All 3 ships of the Kolkata class will be deployed with the Indian Navy’s Western fleet and will also serve as an escort for their carrier, INS Vikramaditya. These ships are built with plenty of room for additional upgrades and improvements in the future and have a large crew due to the presence of full-scale command and control facilities which enable it to act as the fleet flagship in the absence of a carrier.



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