Quote of the Day
The ability to focus is like a mental muscle. The more we work it out, the stronger it becomes …
— Daniel Goleman
While driving home after watching the eclipse, I listened to the news talking about a collision between a US Navy destroyer, the USS John S. McCain (Figure 1), and a commercial tanker. A previous collision also involved a destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald. These stories have made me curious about how many of these ships the US Navy has.
The Wikipedia has an excellent list of US Navy ships, both commissioned and non-commissioned (i.e. sealift). I used Excel with Get and Transform (also known as Power Query) to download, tidy, and process this table. For those who are interested, my workbook is available here
Destroyers are the most common type of commissioned warship in the US Navy (Figure 1). Note that I filtered the USS Pueblo and USS Constitution from the official list because the USS Constitution is a museum ship and the USS Pueblo is held by North Korea.
The US Navy has two classes of destroyers: Arleigh Burke (64 ships) and Zumwalt (1 ship). The Zumwal class has proven to be extremely expensive and only three will be built – two are still under construction.
The USS John S. McCain was commissioned in 1994, which means it is 23 years old. I became curious as to just how old US Navy ships are. Figure 3 answers that question – the McCain was commission during the peak years for US Navy ship commissioning. I was surprised to see that so many ships were built during the 1990s.
There is some data on the history of US Navy ship collisions. Statista has published an excellent chart (Figure 4).