The U.S. is now involved in great power competition with China and Russia. This means that the next-generation naval destroyer should outclass them. When the navy embarks on increasing its ships, this means smaller surface combatants.

Many of the destroyers have a problem, and they are getting outclassed in some ways, despite being cutting edge. The Chinese have the Type 55 that has more missile capacity than current destroyers. Most of them are the Arleigh-Burke class, which is used by many U.S. allies. On it is the best radar and systems unmatched, reported Defense News.

This next iteration is the DDG Next or the successor with a smaller hull than the 16,000-ton Zumwalt-class destroyer. One difference is the missile magazine outclassing same class ships, said Adm. Michael Gilday at the virtual Defense One's State of the Navy event.

According to Gilday, it does not need to be huge. It must house more missiles with deep magazines in the hull. Most DDG Flight III (naval destroyer type) are already filled up. Not much can be mounted as extra equipment on those ships. DDG Next (new destroyer) will be different. It will have a new hull that is more upgradable in the long run with more capabilities than aging DDG Flight IIIs.

In 2025, the first deliveries are expected to be available for the U.S. Navy. From the 2020 30-year shipbuilding plan, this should be the start, and the DDG Next is crucial to it. Some think that how naval plans can evolve will impact this, is another consideration. 

There is an existing plan to increase naval ships to a 500-ship navy, but Defense Secretary Mark Esper seemingly wants to omit large surface combatants altogether.

Also read: After 4 Years Commissioning, US Navy Adds Stealth Destroyer to the US Fleet

Previous plans for the next-generation cruiser or severely truncated DDG-1000 program was cut short. More eyes are going back to the Arleigh Burke that comprises many ships in the U.S. Navy. In 30 years of service, the ship proved superlative. Next Constellation-class frigates will be upgradable on a newer hull.

Gilday said that the ship being planned is the successor to the DDG-51 with a brand-new spanking hull. On the vessel will be the Aegis system but better, with more of the combat and non-combat systems that are reliable. Most of these equipment are on the entire fleet that is convenient. 

Forget about big ships but smaller than the Zumwalt, but the right size for a surface combatant. Gone are the day of massive ships; instead, smaller and capable ships are the preference.

Projected expenses to achieve the goal will be $22 billion a year for the old shipbuilding scheme. The Congressional Budget Office says that the cost will be more than 30 percent than what is written. 

 The U.S. Navy is concerned about super-fast hypersonic missiles that will not fit in current ships. A limitation is the vertical launch system cells on Arleigh-Burke-class destroyers and existing cruisers. One platform it will fit in is the Block V Virginia submarines.

 Demands for a next-generation naval destroyer that can fire a super-fast missile are among the purposes for the DDG Next.

Related article: US Navy's Next Large Surface Combatant Will Be Based on DDG-51 and DDG-1000