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The Navy says it is money well spent. The rise of China has been cited as the best reason for keeping the revolutionary ship afloat, although the specifics of where it will be deployed have yet to be announced.

Navy officials also say the technologies developed for the ship inevitably will be used in other vessels in the decades ahead.

But the destroyer’s $3.1 billion price tag, which is about twice the cost of the current destroyers and balloons to $7 billion each when research and development is added in, nearly sank it in Congress. Though the Navy originally wanted 32 of them, that was cut to 24, then seven.

Now, just three are in the works.