The US Navy’s first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) has completed builder’s trials.
DDG 125 spent three days underway in the Gulf of Mexico before wrapping up the trial on December 15. The event marked the first opportunity for Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding and the navy to test the new Flight III systems while underway.
“Embarking on builder’s sea trials is a significant accomplishment for the DDG 51 program,” said Capt. Seth Miller, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships.
“As the first Flight III ship, DDG 125 is the culmination of years of dedication and perseverance to design, build, and integrate the Flight III capability of BL 10, AMDR and the supporting systems such as the new Electric Plant and associated upgrade to the Machinery Control System.”
The future USS Jack H. Lucas will be the 75th Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class destroyer, and the first of the DDG 51 Flight III ships.
The 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. Flight III is the fourth Flight upgrade in the history of the class, and the largest upgrade to date.
Flight III ships will be assuming the air defense role of the aging Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers in carrier strike groups as the cruisers are slowly being phased out.
The DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class can operate offensively and defensively, independently, or as units of carrier strike groups, expeditionary strike groups, and surface action groups.
HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division is also under construction on the future Ted Stevens (DDG 128), Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129), George M. Neal (DDG 131) and Sam Nunn (DDG 133).
All are Flight III ships after the shipbuilder delivered the final Flight IIA ship on December 1.