Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer


Greyhounds of the Sea

Destroyers, also known as “greyhounds of the sea” were first created as an escort vehicle for larger vessels in a fleet. They were needed to combat the much smaller and faster torpedo boats, which would dart in close to the larger naval vessels, fire their torpedoes, and then quickly escape unscathed. Once guided missiles came in to play, destroyers went from being a simple escort vehicle to surface combat vessels. This allowed them to take the place of battleships and cruisers. In September of 2005, Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers became the US Navy’s only active Destroyers, and remained so until 2016. The Zumwalt class of Destroyers was next to be produced, but due to their increasing cost and their ineffecient upgrades the Zumwalt class was discontinued after only three units were constructed. The US Navy has since restarted production of the Arleigh Burke Destroyer with the Flight III subclass.

Arleigh Burke Class-Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers stand at 510 feet long with a displacement of 9200 tons; they can carry over 90 missiles. The first 21 ships built in the class (DDG 51-DDG 71) are categorized as flight IA and the next seven ships (DDG 72-DDG 78) are flight IIA. The flight IA type of destroyer can carry a total of 303 men, while the flight IIA carries a total of 323. With four gas turbines and two shafts, the destroyer can reach speeds of 30 knots. Well-armed, the Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer carries a variety of guns, missiles, and torpedoes. This includes Tomahawk missiles, standard medium range SAM, standard ballistic missile defense, Vertical Launch ASROC, standard ERAM, and two Mk 141 Harpoon Missile Launcher SSM. They can also carry one or two 5 inch Mk 45 Mod ½ guns, one 5inch Mk 45 Mod 4, one 20mm Phalanx CIWS, and two 25mm M242 Bushmaster cannons. In addition, Destroyers also have two Mk32 triple torpedo tubes, and six Mk 46 or Mk 50 torpedoes. Improvments to the Flight III subclass include the new AN/SPY-6 radar, which can locate and discriminate multiple incoming threats at once. They are also equipped with new air and missile defense technology, as well as more fuel effecient engines.  There are currently 69 Destroyers operating with an additional 13 under construction. This class of ship is stationed in San Diego California, Yokosuka Japan, Pearl Harbor Hawaii, Mayport Florida, and Everett Washington.