Home Americas US Navy’s first Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyer hits the water

US Navy’s first Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyer hits the water

Flight III destroyer design
Illustration: Huntington Ingalls Industries graphic of Flight III destroyer Jack H Lucas

Virginia-based shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries has launched the US Navy’s first Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer built in the Flight III configuration.

HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division launched the future Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) on June 4, after starting work on the ship in May 2018.

The DDG 51 Flight III upgrade is centered on the AN/SPY-6(V)1 air and missile defense radar and incorporates upgrades to the electrical power and cooling capacity plus additional associated changes to provide greatly enhanced warfighting capability to the fleet.

The Flight III baseline begins with DDGs 125-126 and will continue with DDG 128 and follow on ships.

Future Jack H. Lucas in the water. Photo: HII

“Flight III ships will provide cutting edge integrated air and missile defense capability to include significantly greater detection range and tracking capacity. Launching the first Flight III ship, the future Jack H. Lucas, is another important step to delivering Flight III to the Navy” said DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class Program Manager, Capt. Seth Miller.

HII is currently constructing four other DDG 51 class ships, including the future Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121) and Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123) in the Flight IIA configuration, and the future Ted Stevens (DDG 128) and Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129) as Flight III ships. There are a total of 20 DDG 51 class ships under contract at both new construction shipyards.

The Arleigh Burke-class is a multi-mission guided missile destroyer designed to operate offensively and defensively, independently, or as units of carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups, and surface action groups in multi-threat environments that include air, surface and subsurface threats. Flight III is the fourth “flight upgrade” in the 30+ year history of the class, building on the legacy of Flight I, II and IIA ships before it.