The U.S. Navy’s 69th Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), successfully completed Builder’s trials on Feb. 22 after spending three days underway in the Gulf of Mexico.
The trials were conducted by the shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding Division.
The ship was previously underway for Alpha trials in December and will be underway again in March for Acceptance trials, which will be conducted by the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV).
“The Navy and our dedicated shipbuilders have continued to make strides towards delivering this exceptional capability to the fleet, and performed well during builder’s trials,” said Capt. Seth Miller, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “This ship continues the proud Aegis shipbuilding legacy and will provide the Navy with a 21st-century fighting edge.”
Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) is configured as a Flight IIA destroyer and will be the fourth of ten Flight IIA “technology insertion” (Flight IIA TI) ships, which will contain elements of the Flight III ships which begins with DDG-125.
On 29 March 2019, the ship was damaged at the shipyard when a heavy-lift ship allided with a barge that was alongside the Delbert D. Black. The barge, in turn, struck the destroyer, resulting in several people sustaining minor injuries and causing more than thirty million dollars in damages.
The ship is named in honor of Delbert D. Black, who served as a gunner’s mate in the U.S. Navy and was aboard the battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Ima J. Black, Delbert’s widow and a World War II veteran of Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service), is the ship’s sponsor.
The nearly 9,500-ton Delbert D. Black is 509.5 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.
As a Flight IIA destroyer, Delbert D. Black enables power projection, forward presence and escort operations at sea in support of Low Intensity Conflict/Coastal and Littoral Offshore Warfare as well as open ocean conflict.
DDG 119 will be equipped with the Navy’s Aegis Combat System (ACS), the world’s foremost integrated naval weapon. The ship will also incorporate Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) that when combined with the Aegis Combat System, will permit groups of ships and aircraft to link radars to provide a composite picture of the battle space-effectively increasing the theater space. The capability is designed to provide the Navy with a 21st Century fighting edge.
HII’s Pascagoula shipyard is also currently in production on the destroyers future USS Frank E. Petersen Jr (DDG 121), the future USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123) and the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), the first ship to be built in the Flight III configuration.