The Arleigh Burke-class of guided missile destroyers for the United States Navy was born in the 1980s and sixty ships of the group were eventually realized, forming an important ocean-going missile reach for the service since. USS Dewey (DDG-105) represents just one of this large class and one of its more recent offerings, having been laid down in October of 2006 by Ingalls Shipbuilding (now Huntington Ingalls Industries) and launched on January 26th, 2008. She was formally commissioned for service on March 6th, 2010 and maintains an active presence in the USN inventory. Dewey makes her homeport out of Naval Base San Diego and fights under the motto of "Dynamis Ex Cadias" ("The Will to Fight from the Heart").
NOTE: Due to the size of the Arleigh Burke-class, there have been three "Flights" developed within the group covering three distinct batches of constructed warship. The earlier vessels are Flight I standard with Flight II following. Dewey joins other more modern offerings like USS William P. Lawrence and USS Roosevelt as part of Flight IIA. Even within this last group there are two minor subvariants of mention - USS Oscar Austin and USS Roosevelt as part of the 5" /54 variant while the rest of the batch are organized under the 5" /62 variant indicating a slight change to the deck gun.
Dewey displaces at 9,200 tons and features a length of 509.5 feet, a beam of 66 feet, and a draught of 31 feet. Her profile is largely conventional with multiple facets surfaces and relatively minimal use of railing along her various external walking areas. The bridge, identified by its row of windows overlooking the forecastle, is set in the forward superstructure which also contains the main mast and forward smoke funnels. A second, low profile superstructure is fitted at midships and houses the aft smoke funnels with attached full-service helicopter hangar and launch pad. A turreted deck gun is identified towards the bow offering more conventional firepower alongside her primary missile armament. A typical crew complement for the vessel numbers 380. Dewey also carries a pair of Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) for personnel recovery, offshore function, and boarding actions.
Her machinery includes 4 x General Electric LM2500-30 series gas turbines developing 100,000 horsepower to 2 x shafts underneath. The propellers are of a five-bladed design with reversible pitch capability for fine-tune maneuvering. Maximum speed reaches 30 knots in ideal conditions and ranges reach out to 4,400 nautical miles when at 20 knots.
A modern vessel such as Dewey lives and dies through performance, armament, and onboard processing systems. For the latter, the vessel is equipped with the AN/SPY-1D 3D radar system, an AN/SPS series surface search radar, the AN/SQR-19 tactical towed array, and the AN/SQS-53C sonar array. She is also equipped with AN/SQQ-28 LAMPS III, a powerful Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) assistance kit used in conjunction with her Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk helicopters. The Dewey carries two such helicopters.
In terms of standard armament, Dewey is outfitted with two banks of missile launchers installed in her decks. 1 x 64-cell and 1 x 32 cell Mk 42 Vertical Launch Systems (VLSs) are featured and can fire RIM-66 SM-2 medium-range surface-to-air missiles against inbound aerial targets, RUM-139 VL-ASROC (Anti-Submarine ROCket) missiles against enemy submarines, and BGM-109 "Tomahawk" cruise missiles against inland ground targets. Some 96 total missiles can be carried into battle. Her conventional reach is handled by a 5"/62 caliber (127mm) turreted deck gun over the forecastle. The vessel also features 2 x 25mm chain guns and 1 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) for lesser targets attempting to approach the ship unauthorized and the last line of defense becomes a collection of 4 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns. Dewey's armament suite is rounded out by 2 x triple torpedo launchers managing a stock of Mk 46 torpedoes.
The Dewey is also a candidate for the Laser Weapon System (LWS) program of the USN, an experimental weapon aimed at quickly stopping fast-approaching suicide boats or explosives-laden drones attempting to disable the warship at close range. The LWS, in turn, disables these enemies through a direct-energy Infra-Red (IR) beam and can be used to prematurely detonate any carried explosives, burn out motors and sensors, or (more non-lethally) disorient an operator's vision. The weapon is being developed by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions of San Diego, California and currently seeing testing aboard USS Ponce with very promising results.
The United States Navy showcases its guided missile destroyers in a multi-mission approach as the vessel offers a perfect balance of offensive and defensive systems. With inherently good performance and ocean-going capabilities, the types are used in conjunction with fleet actions but can also be stationed independently as the situation warrants. The plethora of weapon options allows Dewey to engage most any at-sea threat - whether it lies on the sea or under it, in the air, or on land.