From: Dontblinkyoullmissit, GA
Regarding Arliegh Burkes: They are a departure because they are also the first DD's which have a lot more beam in the Length to Beam ratio than conventional DD's. Of course, at about 8,000 tons, they really are more like cruisers, but..... The Burke's, as I think I state elsewhere, are supposed to have some Kevlar enhanced armor over strategic points (from some early reports - seems they're a bit silent on that now.)
The big emphasis on changing from aluminum superstructures (which was where most aluminum was used in naval construction) began following the collision of the Kennedy and the Belknap. The Stark was, I think, already on the drawing boards when this decision made.
Regarding cruise missiles and CIWS. There is a relatively large difference between 2700 pound dumb AP projectiles at 2600 FPS (roughly 1800 MPH) and a cruise missle no matter how fast. Shells are dumb. They go somewhere, hit something, and blow up. Cruise missles are much more fragile, and with a few notable exceptions (AS-4) travel much slower, and do not penetrate anything like the armor on an old BB, or an old CA possibly. The nature of combat has obviously changed. But the big guns, with RAP and fin guidance, can match most of the range and accuracy of a missle without the same fragility factor. The thinking which retired the BB's was crew cost, not strategic or tactical necessity. The Marines would probably love to have the Iowa's still available, and might even have paid for them from their budget if the congressional tightwads weren't so stuck on taking that money for their favorite pork projects. (Ah, I digress into the realm of politics - the fever is catching, hand me some aspirin.)
Rev. Rick, the tincanman
"Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer