First Flight III Arleigh Burke Destroyer Completes Acceptance Trials

The US Navy has completed acceptance trials for its future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) guided-missile destroyer.

During a demonstration, the vessel underwent a series of evaluations according to standards set by the service’s Board of Inspection and Survey.

The DDG 125 will be the first Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to receive the Flight III configuration, an upgrade enhancing air and missile defense capabilities, cooling capacity, and electrical power.

“As the first Flight III ship, the future USS Jack H. Lucas will bring cutting edge capability to the Fleet,” DDG 51 Program Manager Capt. Seth Miller stated.

“This week’s trials represent a significant milestone in demonstrating the ship’s readiness for delivery and beginning test and evaluation efforts.”

Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyers

Five additional Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are still under construction by Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding, including the USS Ted Stevens, (DDG 128), Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129), George Neal (DDG 131), and Sam Nunn (DDG 133).

The company has already delivered 34 Arleigh Burke-class ships to the US Navy.

The fleet’s final Flight III-configured vessel, the USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), was handed over to the navy last December and commissioned earlier this month in Florida.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123)
Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123). Photo: HII

General Dynamics subsidiary Bath Iron Works this month also laid the keel for the second Flight III-configured destroyer, the future USS Louis Wilson Jr. (DDG 126).

In March, a five-year contract was signed to extend the life of the lead Arleigh Burke ship (DDG 51), which is set to retire in 2026. The maintenance will permit the 35-year-old vessel to operate until 2031.

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