Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding has been awarded a $660 million contract to build two additional DDG 51 Class Aegis guided missile destroyers for the United States Navy. With this award, Ingalls has 23 Aegis destroyers under firm contract. Two additional ships are included for funding next year. Of the 25 ships and options awarded to Ingalls, 12 ships have been delivered. A 13th Ingalls-built destroyer will be delivered in mid-2000.
The Navy plans a total of 57 ships in the DDG 51 program. With awards and options to-date, the Navy has committed to the procurement of 52 ships through the year 2001. The five remaining ships are planned for award in the years 2002 and 2003. The U.S. Navy's Aegis program is one of the most important shipbuilding programs in America today. Truly multimission combatants, Aegis ships are designed to provide primary protection for the Navy's battle forces, but are also the most balanced surface warships ever built.
Equipped with the weapons, electronics, helicopter support facilities, and propulsion, auxiliary and survivability systems to carry out the U.S. Navy's missions today, and into the next century. Aegis destroyers are equipped to conduct a variety of missions, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of national military strategy. The ships are 509.5 feet long, with a beam of 66 feet. Four gas turbine engines power the 9,238-ton ships to speeds in excess of 30 knots.