USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)

Arleigh Burke in the Mediterranean, March, 2003. Note the octagonal panels for the AEGIS radar system on the sides of her superstructure. US Navy photo.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

This is the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), the lead ship of the only class of destroyers currently active in the US Navy. Laid down on December 6, 1988, and commissioned on 4 July, 1991, the Burke is still in service. Her design was influenced by British experience in the Falklands War of 1982, resulting in an advanced air defense platform. The Burke is primarily armed with Tomahawk and Standard missiles in vertical launch tubes, but also mounts a rapid fire 5"/54 Mark 45 gun on the bow. These are supplemented with an assortment of light machine guns for close-in defense. For anti-submarine work, the Burke can carry ASROCs in some of her vertical launch tubes, and she can carry two helicopters. Her top speed is officially classified, but most estimates I've seen place it in the range of 35 knots. Arleigh Burke has seen extensive deployments to the Mediterranean and Red Seas, and began her career supporting humanitarian relief operations in the former Yugoslavia.