New consideration issue for US engineers is to upgrade Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers with larger launchers.
As we know, Arleigh Burkes are one of the most powerful ships around the world, however, the main strike weapon, Tomahawks, are subsonic missiles and they are vulnerable to Russian and Chinese air defense systems.
Because of this, equipping them with hypersonic missiles will improve the effectiveness of the strike force of the US Navy, and this requirement demands ship to have larger launching cells. After the upgrading launching cells with larger ones, Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers would have the ability to carry and launch hypersonic missiles.
The head of Naval Sea Systems Command, Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, told an audience at a conference of naval engineers that the Arleigh Burkes — due to their vertical launch system and Aegis missile capabilities — were easier to keep relevant than other destroyers such as the Adams and Spruance classes.
“Vertical launch system has been a real game changer for us. We can shoot any number of things out of those launchers,” Moore said. “We’ll probably change those out and upgrade them for prompt strike weapons down the road.”
The benefit of larger vertical launch cells is that you can pack more missiles into each cell, if you are not using the cell for the larger hypersonic missiles. This is the question to answer, quality or quantitiy? If hypersonic missiler are to be used, more effective but less missiles ships would carry. This is a tactical decision. We think that US Navy HQs and tacticians would solve this and make the decision for the ships.