HII gets contract to build US Navy’s first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer

HII rendering of Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125).

The U.S. Navy has awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division a contract modification to incorporate the “Flight III” upgrades to the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided missile destroyer Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125).

The ship is the fifth of five destroyers the company was originally awarded in June 2013.

DDG 51 Flight III will incorporate the new Advanced Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) that will replace the existing SPY-1 radar installed on the previous DDG 51 ships. To support the new Flight III systems, the installed power and cooling will be increased accordingly.

Flight III destroyers will operate with more personnel, have a wider stern to increase ship’s buoyancy and will have a modified deckhouse to accommodate the radar’s size and weight.

HII withheld the value of the flight upgrade modification “due to business sensitivities”.

“We have proven our success in the DDG 51 class over the past 30 years, and our shipbuilders are ready now to build the first Flight III ship,” Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said.

“This will be the 35th Aegis destroyer we will build for the U.S. Navy in what has been one of our company’s most successful programs. These ships are in high demand, and this Flight III ship will be the most capable DDG 51-class ship ever built.”

DDG 125 is the first ship named for Capt. Jack H. Lucas, who, at the age of 14, forged his mother’s signature to join the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves during World War II. Lucas, then a private first class in the Marine Corps, turned 17 just five days before the U.S. invasion of Iwo Jima and stowed away on USS Deuel (APA 160) to fight in the campaign. During a close firefight with Japanese forces, Lucas saved the lives of three fellow Marines when, after two enemy hand-grenades were thrown into a U.S. trench, he placed himself on one grenade while simultaneously pulling the other under his body. One of the grenades did not explode; the other exploded but only injured Lucas.

Lucas is the youngest Marine and the youngest service member in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor.

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