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Arleigh Burke’s as Battleships

July 27, 2009

Arleigh_Burke_DDG-51I know some have been taking issue because I constantly refer to the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class as “battleships”, though they are officially labeled as “destroyers”. From the Navy’s own Fact File, I give proof of my reasoning here:

“Named for the Navy’s most famous destroyer squadron combat commander and three-time Chief of Naval Operations, Arleigh Burke is the most powerful surface combatant ever put to sea.”

Certainly the old Iowa’s should be considered surface combatants as well. Don’t blame me then but the admirals!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 27, 2009 9:08 pm

    Joe, my idea is from the Norwegian Nansen all the way up to the Kirov’s, they are basically the same type of ship. All are high performance missile escorts with air-surface-sub weapons which place them above the average warship. In small non-carrier navies, they are certainly seen as capital vessels. Some such as
    over at the Information Dissemination website divides these ships up into seperate ratings like the old Ship of the Lines, which is OK i guess. I had some earlier thoughts on the subject here:

    Notice also, with the ongoing North Korean ballistic missile crisis, the politicians and admirals are no longer asking “where are the carriers” but “where are the BMD cruisers and destroyers?”

  2. Joe permalink
    July 27, 2009 8:29 pm


    If we’re talking about single ships that either are at sea or could put to sea, where would you rank the Russian Kirov-Class Battlecruisers in the pantheon of “powerful surface combatants” today? As their wiki entry says about them, “They are second in size only to aircraft carriers, and are similar in size to a World War I battleship…”

    We admittedly have far more Burke’s than they do Kirov’s, so my question is on a theoretical per-ship basis only.

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