Home Americas US Navy’s 1st flight III Arleigh Burke destroyer departs shipyard for San...

US Navy’s 1st flight III Arleigh Burke destroyer departs shipyard for San Diego homeport

USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) departs Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. Photo: US Navy

Future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), the US Navy’s newest guided-missile destroyer, embarked on its journey from the Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding Division shipyard on September 26th.

HII began work on the future Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) in May 2018. On June 4, 2021, the 75th Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class destroyer and the first of the DDG 51 Flight III ships, was launched. It was christened in March 2022 and subsequently completed acceptance trials in May 2023. In June of the same year, the ship was formally handed over to the Navy.

DDG 125 is scheduled to be commissioned on October 7, 2023, at a ceremony in Tampa, Florida, before setting sail for its homeport in San Diego.

Besides being equipped with a wide array of offensive and defensive weapons, DDG 125’s configuration incorporates the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) as well as the Aegis Baseline 10 Combat System. It also includes upgrades to the electrical power and cooling capacity.

The ship is named after Jacklyn Harold “Jack” Lucas, who served as a US Marine during World War II and was awarded the Medal of Honor at the age of 17, making him the youngest recipient. Private First Class Lucas received the award during the Iwo Jima campaign when he hurled himself on two grenades to absorb the explosion with his own body and protect his fellow Marines. He survived the blast and lived until June 5, 2008, when he passed away from cancer. The future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) is the first combat warship to bear his name.

“Sail away of the first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is a historical event for the program,” said Capt. Seth Miller, the DDG 51 program manager at the Arleigh Burke-class program office, Program Executive Office, Ships. “The Navy continues to field cutting-edge warfighting capability that will ply the oceans and deter our adversaries for decades to come.”

Ingalls has successfully delivered 35 destroyers to the US Navy, and their production continues with four Flight III destroyers currently under construction: DDG 128 (Ted Stevens), DDG 129 (Jeremiah Denton), DDG 131 (George M. Neal), and DDG 133 (Sam Nunn).

In the previous month, the Navy granted a multi-year contract worth $14.5 billion to HII and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works for the construction of nine destroyers, including additional Flight III destroyers.