Issue No. 1 /
Jan-Feb 1999

DD 21—A Warship for the 21st Century
by Bianca Beeks and Jon Walman


DD 21, the Navy’s 21st century land attack destroyer, will be a multi-mission warship tailored for land attack. First in the family of 21st century surface combatants, DD 21 will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, and will operate as an integral part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. In addition to its land attack role, DD 21 will establish and maintain superiority over surface, subsurface, and local air battlespace, and will contribute to the establishment of battlespace dominance.

The design and acquisition of DD 21 is being achieved through a revolutionary relationship between government and industry, in which industry is proposing ship concept designs and weapon systems to meet Navy operational requirements as well as cost, schedule, and performance objectives. Phase I (System Concepts) development will continue through the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1999, and will culminate with an Overarching Integrated Product Team (OIPT) meeting in August 1999. Phase II (System Design), scheduled to begin in October 1999, will continue through fiscal year 2000, with competitive selection of a single team occurring in fiscal year 2001.

Significant procurement and life-cycle cost savings are expected to result from application of advanced design and construction techniques, optimized manning strategies, and innovative maintenance and logistics concepts. The procurement cost objective is $750 million (in fiscal year 1996 dollars). DD 21’s Operations and Support cost objective is 70 percent less than Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) Class destroyers, in part due to a 70 percent manning reduction from DDG 51.

First ship detail design and construction for DD 21 is scheduled to begin in 2004, followed by construction of three ships per year beginning in 2005. The Navy plans to take delivery of DD 21 in 2008, with Fleet introduction in 2009. The DD 21 Class, comprising a total of 32 ships, will begin entering the Fleet at the same time that today’s Spruance (DD 963) Class destroyers and Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG 7) Class frigates are slated to retire.

Additional Information

To find out more about the DD 21 Class, visit the DD 21 website at:

Bianca Beeks and Jon Walman handle public affairs issues for the Program Executive Office for DD 21.