When this was drafted, we did not realize one hull was delayed, so the 71st hull number was actually the 70th delivered.
USS Frank E Petersen, DDG 121 was commissioned on Friday, joining the fleet as the 71st in the class.
It wasn’t clear that the class would be this enduring. In 1985, the plan was for 29 ships, to (mostly) replace the Charles F Adams and Coontz class.
Construction continued past 29, ending with #112 as the Navy’s interest was shifting towards DDG1000 and LCS.
After several years gap, it became apparent that the DDG1000 and LCS capability was not panning out, and the DDG51 production line restarted.
Current discussion is for production contracts to extend through 2027, some 42 years after the initial contract was signed for DDG51.
So why has the design proved enduring?