ARLINGTON, Va. – The Navy is now taking a “measured” approach to developing its next large combatant, with the director of surface warfare saying he expects to buy the first ones in the late 2020s after certain technologies mature, following previous plans to begin the ship program as early as 2023.
The Navy has acknowledged for several years that it is outgrowing its Arleigh Burke destroyer design, with the Flight III design essentially consuming all remaining space and power in the design.
The future surface force will rely more heavily on small combatants like the frigate and unmanned surface vessels – an idea that Rear Adm. Gene Black (OPNAV N96) said was re-validated by a recent Future Surface Combatant Force analysis of alternatives – but a large combatant force will still be needed to haul large radars and large missiles.
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WNU Editor: So much for the US Navy saying only a year and a half ago that they need to develop and deploy this ship ASAP.