First Flight III Arleigh Burke Class Finishes Builder Trials

The future USS Jack H Lucas, the first Block III Arleigh Burke class destroyer. Ingalls Shipbuilding photo.

The Navy’s first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) completed Builder’s Trials on Dec 15, 2022.

Builder’s trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the shipbuilder to assess the ship’s systems. For DDG 125, these trials also mark the first opportunity to test the new Flight III systems while underway. The trials are conducted by the shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

“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 proud history of the class, and the largest upgrade to date.

The DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG 51) is a multi-mission guided missile destroyer able to operate offensively and defensively, independently, or as units of Carrier Strike Groups, Expeditionary Strike Groups, and Surface Action Groups. These ships respond to the full range of military operations including Low Intensity Conflict/Coastal and Littoral Offshore Warfare scenarios and open ocean conflict, providing or augmenting power projection. Flight III ships will fill the critical need for enhanced surface combatant Integrated Air and Missile Defense.

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).

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.