Flight IV Burke Proposal


Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator

The US Navy has announced the goal of building 20-40 Flight IV BUrkes starting in the late 2020s. This is a proposal of my own. I scratch built it by combinging two Flight IIA 1/350 scale models to make the ship about 50-70 feet longs and 10-15 feet wider.

I have placed a number of enhancements on the Flight IV to ensure that US Navy supremacy is maintained with the continuation of the Burke AEGIS destroyers which is the largest and most effective class of destroyers built by the US Navy since World War II. The advances could and should be added to this destroyer which would allow them not only to advance the Burke design, but would allow them to replace the Ticonderoga cruiser as a significantly cheaper rate. Why? Because this ship will be 75+% the same as the Burke Flight III destroyers allowing for easier and cheaper building and maintenance, and will have certain levels of automation which will allow them to reduce by 10-15% the number of crew required, which over a life span of 35-40 years will make for a significant overall reduction. Now for the advancements.

1 - This vessel will be 15 meters longer and 5 meters wider than the existing Burke class, with all steel strengthening.

2 - This vessel will displace over 15,300 tons.

3 - This vessel will mount 140 Mk-41 VLS vertical launch missile for AEGIS weaponry (anti-air ground, ship, etc.)

4 - This vessel will mount 80 PVLS Mk-55 VLS vertical launch missiles for AEGIS weaponry (anti-air ground, ship, etc.)

5 - That's a total of 220 VLS cells, and would include a least 20 quad launched VLS for 80 mid range ESSMs.

6 - This vessel will carry a dual band radar with larger EPARS than the Flight III Bukre and proper sized 2nd radar.

7 - This vessels will carry a main gun of one (1) 130mm Rail gun with accurate ranging out to 150 miles.

8 - This vessel will also carry two Laser Weapon Systems (LAWS) for CIWS with range out to 10 miles anti-air defense.

9 - This vessel will carry twp 40mm rail guns for CIWS out to 10 miles for anti-air defense.

10- This vessel will carry two SEA-RAM CIWS systems for anti-air defence out to 15-20 miles.

11- This vessel will mount four SDEMPG (Ship Defense Electro Magnetic Puls Generators ranging 12-15 miles.

12- This ship will carry two small reactors to provide electrical power to its weapons and its all electric system.

13- This ship will be able, as needed and available, to utilize power from the reactors to augment its propulsion.

14- This vessel will contain a task force command deck for carrier, amphibious or other task force defence coord.

14- These vessels could start being built in the late 2020s to early 2030s.


The US Navy and Lockheed Martin have helped the Koreans build the Se Jong KDX-III vessels, which are similar in size to these vessels, although still a little smaller and not having the advanced weaponry. But the Se Jong class of six vessels are a larger Burke with 148 missiles, but lacking the additional length to fit the additional 64 cell Mk-41 VLS.

They displace just under 12,000 tons.

Such a development as this would provide the opportunity for having two of these vessels in every Carrier and Amphibious Battle Group, as well as two Burke Flight IIAs, and two of the new FFGX that are being developed now, significantly strengthening the defense and offensive capability of each of those groups. Look at this JPG of the ship to see the location of these various weapons, SDEPMG, and DBR.

Here is a jpg showing the location of most of the enhancements.

49996878292_64579f0d82_k.jpg
 
Last edited:

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Nice concept Jeff, however I have a few questions.

A 15m lengthening of the Burke hull form (assuming from the Flight III) will significantly alter the hull, which the Flight III has already begun to reach the limits of the original AB hull form.

More importantly, a 5m widening of the overall Burke hull form beam in addition to a 15m lengthening will basically make this an entirely different hull altogether. In fact, the widening of the ship's overall beam is much more consequential to a ship's hull than merely lengthening it.

With those sort of dimensions (15m longer and 5m wider than a normal Flight III BUrke), you're looking at a 25m beam ship a length of 170+m, which is a reasonable length but a very very significant beam. I can't see how such a ship would only displace over 13,000 tons with a 25m beam.
You'll need much more powerful propulsion/main drivers to enable this ship to reach the same kind of speeds that you'd need for a normal Burke. The addition of a main rail gun and multiple smaller rail guns as well as multiple DEW mounts and a new dual band radar means this ship will need quite a lot of power generation on top of the prime movers -- which in theory can be solved by giving the ship IEPS of course, but the problem is you still need enough power generation overall to allow the ship to achieve combat speeds as well as have sufficient capacity to power its main weapons and sensors.
You mention reactors, which I assume you mean nuclear reactors, which is fine... but that is just adding an entirely different category of propulsion to the Burke class beyond its previous conventional gas turbines, and will significantly add to cost and further exacerbate the way in which this ship really is no longer a Burke class ship but an entirely new warship class.

Additionally I have some reservations about the physical accommodation of the VLS cells.
The amidships Mk-41 VLS bank between the two gas turbine exhausts looks like it would be directly intruding onto where the gas turbines or the gas turbine shaft from the two bow gas turbines are -- of course, I'm not sure if this ship is still powered by gas turbines or nuclear reactors so maybe that's a moot point.
Of greater issue is the PVLS -- which you mention as Mk-55 but I think you meant to write Mk-57 PVLS instead? Are you referring to the same kind of VLS that fits the Zumwalt class? Either way, the issue with a peripheral VLS system on a conventional flared hull like a Burke is that the depth of the VLS cell means you can't really fit a PVLS on the peripheries of a flared hull vessel because of the V ship of the hull's cross section. A peripheral VLS system makes sense for a tumblehome hull because the hull is more of an inverted v cross section, and the bottom of your VLS cell will still be within the hull of the ship. But for a flared hull design the bottom of your PVLS will literally be exiting the hull of your ship.
(I will add however, that it may be possible to install PVLS on the amidships or aft part of a hull where the hull/bow is not flared like a V, but it would be nigh impossible to do so on the bow of a ship. But this is just talking simple geometry -- if one tries to install deep PVLS onto a variant of an existing ship that didn't have reserved space for PVLS on the amidships or aft of the ship, it would likely present significant structural issues that will need to be re-engineered, adding even more to cost).



Overall, I think the vision for a combatant with the characteristics you describe would obviously be very attractive for the US Navy.

The problem is that I just don't think it can be done in an affordable manner or as a derivative of the Burke hull. Certainly, I don't think it would be achievable in the specific parameters you describe -- 170m long, 25m beam, 13,000 tons.

Let's remember that a Flight III Burke is already slightly over 10,000 tons full, has 96 Mk-41 VLS, and SPY-6 and is already at the limits of the hull form.

You are proposing to add 80 PVLS (which I assume you mean Mk-57 PVLS on the Zumwalt) -- however 80 Mk-57 PVLS is literally the entire Mk-57 VLS loadout of the Zumwalt class which displaces nearly 16,000 tons. Furthermore, you propose adding another 64 Mk-41 VLS onto the hull as well in addition to 80 Mk-57 PVLS.
On top of that, the introduction of a primary railgun and multiple railgun CIWS and multiple DEW turrets, as well as potentially replacing the entire propulsion architecture of the ship to maybe nuclear?


IMO all of the above cannot be achieved in a 13,000 ton hull.


To me, I think what you described may be achievable in a hull that is at least as big as the Zumwalt class, or perhaps a freshly new designed hull that is even a little bigger than the Zumwalt, such as an 18,000 ton ship, or even something approaching that of battlecruiser displacement, like a 20,000 ton ship.


But as a Burke derivative, I think your proposal is much too ambitious and would not be cheap, affordable or low risk either.
 
Last edited:

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member


Adding onto my reply above -- I do think the USN needs a proper next generation destroyer, and that will be part of its "Large Surface Combatant"/LSC project, however it is likely to be a brand new hull and incorporate many leading edge technologies today that will be more mature in the medium term future.
There is a reason why the USN has said that the LSC will likely not emerge until the early to mid 2030s.


In the foreseeable future the USN has committed to only building Flight III Burkes, which of course are still very capable ships. The question is whether they are able to replace the Ticonderoga class cruisers. Flight III Burkes will have less VLS than Ticos, but will have much more capable radars and of course Burke IIIs will carry more capable missiles than Ticos did for most of their life.

One possible issue is that Flight III Burkes lack the "air warfare commander" space that the Ticonderogas do, which many people have mentioned as a potential limitation.

If the USN was truly concerned about that lack of space, IMO one more plausible "Flight IV Burke" proposal is to add a 5-10 meter hull plug into the overall ship, making it longer but not wider. That additional hull plug would be somewhere in the amidships area close to the CIC to provide space for a dedicated air warfare commander and their staff. It would likely add at least 1000 tons to the ship's overall displacement if not more, making it at least 11,000+ tons full.

However it seems the USN was very reluctant to make the Flight III Burke too much bigger than the Flight IIA, making me think that they were not too keen on a major structural modification of the IIA hull parameters.



Another plausible solution, is to build a "Flight III.5 Burke" or "Flight IIIA Burke" instead, which seeks to conserve the overall displacement and dimensions of a Flight III Burke but take some of the existing space and replace it with an air warfare commander's facilities.
I specifically am thinking about removing the Flight III Burke's rear helicopter hangars and turning that space into an air warfare commander's facility. Of course, you will lose the ability to carry helicopters in the ship organically, however you get the benefit of having a dedicated air warfare commander's facility without gaining any significant overall mass or dimensions to the ship.
Losing the ability to carry helicopters in the ship's own hangars may be seen as a significant loss, however the idea of this hypothetical Flight III.5/Flight IIIA Burke would be that of all of the Flight III Burkes that the USN builds, only about 1/3rd of them will be of the Flight IIIA configuration.

Furthermore, the Flight IIIA Burkes that have AWC facilities but lack helicopter hangars will primarily operate with carrier strike groups -- meaning that even though the individual ship may not have organic helicopters carried in its hangars, it will operate along many other ships including carriers which will carry many helicopters of their own. Also, it is not like the USN has never operated surface combatants lacking their own organic helicopter capability before. USN operated multiple cruiser classes in the late cold war prior to the Ticonderoga class did not have helicopter hangars.



For both my proposed Flight IV and Flight IIIA Burke proposals, the overall sensor fit, weapons fit and propulsion fit will remain mostly the same with the current Flight III Burke proposal.
Of the two, I think the Flight IIIA Burke proposal is the lower cost and more immediate solution to the issue of replacing Ticonderoga class cruisers and their AWC function.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
I redid my cacluations on the displacement model I have (which I ut together while consulting with GE Shipbuilding. I transposed my numbers. What I had as 13, 500 should be 15,300 tons...and there is where she sits.
 

SinoGovtLies2U

Just Hatched
Registered Member

The US Navy has announced the goal of building 20-40 Flight IV BUrkes starting in the late 2020s. This is a proposal of my own. I scratch built it by combinging two Flight IIA 1/350 scale models to make the ship about 50-70 feet longs and 10-15 feet wider.

I have placed a number of enhancements on the Flight IV to ensure that US Navy supremacy is maintained with the continuation of the Burke AEGIS destroyers which is the largest and most effective class of destroyers built by the US Navy since World War II. The advances could and should be added to this destroyer which would allow them not only to advance the Burke design, but would allow them to replace the Ticonderoga cruiser as a significantly cheaper rate. Why? Because this ship will be 75+% the same as the Burke Flight III destroyers allowing for easier and cheaper building and maintenance, and will have certain levels of automation which will allow them to reduce by 10-15% the number of crew required, which over a life span of 35-40 years will make for a significant overall reduction. Now for the advancements.

1 - This vessel will be 15 meters longer and 5 meters wider than the existing Burke class, with all steel strengthening.

2 - This vessel will displace over 15,300 tons.

3 - This vessel will mount 140 Mk-41 VLS vertical launch missile for AEGIS weaponry (anti-air ground, ship, etc.)

4 - This vessel will mount 80 PVLS Mk-55 VLS vertical launch missiles for AEGIS weaponry (anti-air ground, ship, etc.)

5 - That's a total of 220 VLS cells, and would include a least 20 quad launched VLS for 80 mid range ESSMs.

6 - This vessel will carry a dual band radar with larger EPARS than the Flight III Bukre and proper sized 2nd radar.

7 - This vessels will carry a main gun of one (1) 130mm Rail gun with accurate ranging out to 150 miles.

8 - This vessel will also carry two Laser Weapon Systems (LAWS) for CIWS with range out to 10 miles anti-air defense.

9 - This vessel will carry twp 40mm rail guns for CIWS out to 10 miles for anti-air defense.

10- This vessel will carry two SEA-RAM CIWS systems for anti-air defence out to 15-20 miles.

11- This vessel will mount four SDEMPG (Ship Defense Electro Magnetic Puls Generators ranging 12-15 miles.

12- This ship will carry two small reactors to provide electrical power to its weapons and its all electric system.

13- This ship will be able, as needed and available, to utilize power from the reactors to augment its propulsion.

14- This vessel will contain a task force command deck for carrier, amphibious or other task force defence coord.

14- These vessels could start being built in the late 2020s to early 2030s.


The US Navy and Lockheed Martin have helped the Koreans build the Se Jong KDX-III vessels, which are similar in size to these vessels, although still a little smaller and not having the advanced weaponry. But the Se Jong class of six vessels are a larger Burke with 148 missiles, but lacking the additional length to fit the additional 64 cell Mk-41 VLS.

They displace just under 12,000 tons.

Such a development as this would provide the opportunity for having two of these vessels in every Carrier and Amphibious Battle Group, as well as two Burke Flight IIAs, and two of the new FFGX that are being developed now, significantly strengthening the defense and offensive capability of each of those groups. Look at this JPG of the ship to see the location of these various weapons, SDEPMG, and DBR.

Here is a jpg showing the location of most of the enhancements.

49996878292_64579f0d82_k.jpg
They've officially announced as of end of 2020, DDG(X) to replace all Ticonderoga and all burkes other than Flight IIA/B & III
 

voyager1

Captain
Registered Member
Didn't the US Navy just cancel the railgun program?
It didnt request new funding for the project which is, as you said, effectively cancelling it
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


However note that this is the US Navy budget request

Ultimately it is AFAIK the Congress which will decide if it will fund it or not

Personally I am 50-50 on this. Congress might feel nervous about cancelling such a "high-profile" R&D program when the Chinese are still working on it. It might ultimately decide to keep funding this, to avoid conceding the whole ground on China.

IMO if the US Navy truly wants this to be done as they wish, they will have to extensively explain to Congress why they are cancelling it when the Chinese are not
 

daifo

Junior Member
Registered Member
Supposely the Burkes are already tapped out on power, so doubtful any new flights will have so many energy weapons
 

Top