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Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

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Publication Date: April 2009

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: RS22595

Topic: Military and defense (Military equipment and weapons)


The Navy wants to modernize 84 Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years at a potential total cost of about $9.7 billion in today's dollars. The Navy's plan poses several potential issues for Congress, including the Navy's overall vision behind the plan; the schedule, sequence, and scope of the destroyer modernizations, as well as the shipyards to be used for executing them; the strategy for achieving an open architecture combat system on the 84 Aegis ships; and whether to extend the ships' service lives from 35 years to 40 years. Congress's decisions regarding Aegis ship modernizations could affect future Navy ship force levels and capabilities, Navy funding requirements, U.S. shipyards, and makers of Navy ship combat systems. This report will be updated as events warrant.