Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division officially started fabrication of the U.S. Navy’s third Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the future USS Ted Stevens (DDG 128), on Monday, April 6.
The start of fabrication signifies the first 100 tons of steel have been cut.
“As we begin this important milestone in the construction of another great warship, we look forward to continuing production and carrying on the extraordinary legacy of the Navy destroyer fleet,” Ingalls DDG 51 Program Manager George Nungesser said.
The ship’s name honors former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, who served as a pilot in World War II and later as a senator representing Alaska. At the time he left office in 2009, he was the longest-serving Republican U.S. Senator in history.
Ingalls has delivered 31 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction include Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), Frank E. Peterson Jr. (DDG 121), Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123) and Jack H. Lucas (DDG125).
The future USS Ted Stevens (DDG 128) will be the third ship of the Flight III series of the U.S. Navy’s DDG 51 Arleigh Burke class of guided-missile destroyers (DDGs) and the 78th overall for the class.
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 Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division 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.