Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has officially started construction of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129) for the US Navy.
The shipbuilder marks official fabrication starts after cutting the first 100 tons of steel for a ship.
As a Flight III destroyer, DDG 129 will feature improved capability and capacity to perform anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense in support of the integrated air and missile defense mission. The ship will contain modifications to enable the SPY-6 radar, in association with Aegis Baseline 10, which includes larger electronically scanned arrays.
“The start of fabrication for one of the US 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 destroyer’s name honors former US 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 US 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.
The Arleigh Burke-class comprises four separate variants or “Flights.” DDG 51-71 represent the original design and are designated as Flight I ships; DDG 72-78 are Flight II ships; DDGs 79-116 are Flight IIA ships in service, and will continue through DDGs 124 and 127. The Flight III baseline will begin with DDGs 125-126, and continue with DDGs 128 and follow.
The first Flight III ship, DDG 125, started fabrication May 07, 2018. In September of the same year, the US Navy awarded two contracts to HII and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works for a total of 10 Flight III destroyers.