Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division officially started fabrication of the U.S. Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the future USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129), on Jan. 7.
The start of fabrication signifies the first 100 tons of steel have been cut.
“The start of fabrication for one of the U.S. Navy’s most critical assets is always a significant milestone for our shipbuilders,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said. “We look forward to leveraging our unparalleled shipbuilding expertise to construct the nation’s newest, most capable destroyer.”
The future USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129) will be the fourth ship of the Flight III series of the U.S. Navy’s DDG 51 Arleigh Burke class of guided-missile destroyers (DDGs) and the 79th overall for the class.
The destroyer’s name honors former U.S. Sen. Jeremiah Denton, a Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism while a prisoner of war. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946, Denton went on to serve in the Navy for 34 years as a test pilot, flight instructor and squadron leader. Following decades of military service, Denton was elected to the Senate in 1980 where he represented the state of Alabama for six years.
Denton was born in Mobile, Alabama on July 15, 1924. His wife, the former Kathryn Jane Maury, served as ship’s sponsor of the Ingalls-built Aegis guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) which was christened in 1985.
Ingalls has delivered 32 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction include Frank E. Peterson Jr. (DDG 121), Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) and Ted Stevens (DDG 128).
Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers will have improved capability and capacity to perform Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) and Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) in support of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) mission. This system delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased electronic countermeasures capability for AAW.
The construction of the first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), began at the HII Ingalls Shipbuilding on May 7, 2018. The construction of the second Flight III destroyer, the future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG 126), began at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW)‘s facility on March 3, 2020.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. The guided-missile destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.