Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division achieved a substantial milestone on May 20 with the successful lift of the aft deckhouse onto the U.S. Navy’s first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125).
The 320-ton aft deckhouse includes radar equipment rooms, main engine intake and exhaust compartments, electric shop, and staterooms.
“Our team has kept this first Flight III ship ahead of schedule by working collaboratively and using lessons learned from our long history of building destroyers,” said Ben Barnett, Ingalls DDG 125 program manager. “Our entire shipbuilding team has worked tirelessly to ensure that all of our efforts have been aligned to implement all Flight III changes successfully on this ship. With this lift, we are one step closer to delivering the U.S. Navy the most technologically advanced destroyer in the fleet.”
DDG 125 is the fifth of five Arleigh Burke-class destroyers HII was awarded in June 2013 and is the first Flight III ship, which adds enhanced radar capability and other technological upgrades. The five-ship contract, part of a multi-year procurement in the DDG 51 program, allows Ingalls to build ships more efficiently by buying bulk material and moving the skilled workforce from ship-to-ship.
The ship is named for Jack. H Lucas, a longtime resident of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who was the youngest Marine and the youngest service member in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor. DDG 125 is co-sponsored by Ruby Lucas, widow of the ship’s namesake.
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.