US Navy Begins Building Next-Gen Guided-Missile Destroyer

The US Navy has begun constructing an updated version of its Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer (DDG) 51.

According to the service’s statement, the future Jack H. Lucas DDG 125 will be the first vessel in its class built in the Flight III configuration.

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division is constructing the vessel in Pascagoula, Mississippi. 

Major Upgrades 

The major part of the upgrade will see the vessel being outfitted with Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar, allowing the destroyer to better detect and track airborne threats such as aircraft, cruise, and ballistic missiles, USNI News wrote.

The new vessel will also see a replacement of the three Rolls Royce 3-megawatt generators on the Flight IIA ships with Rolls Royce 4-megawatt generators.

“Flight III ships will provide cutting edge Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability to include significantly greater detection range and tracking capacity,” DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class Program Manager, Capt. Seth Miller explained.

Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyers

The DDG 51 Arleigh Burke 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.”

The navy currently operates 69 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.with 20 more on contract and 11 ships in various stages of construction. The first destroyer of the class joined the service in 1991.

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