Home » Budget Industry » Huntington Ingalls Industries Awarded First Flight III Arleigh Burke Destroyer

Huntington Ingalls Industries Awarded First Flight III Arleigh Burke Destroyer

Artists rendering of the first planned Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyer, Jack H. Lucas. HII Photo

Artists rendering of the first planned Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyer, Jack H. Lucas. HII Photo

Huntington Ingalls Industries won an award to build the first of a new configuration of Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers, according to a Tuesday Pentagon contract announcement.

HII’s Mississippi Ingalls Shipbuilding is now set to construct the first Flight III DDG that will be built around an air search radar that promises to be 30 times more powerful that the current crop of AN/SPY-1D(V) and built from the start for complex ballistic missile defense missions.

“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 in a Tuesday statement from the company.
“These ships are in high demand, and this Flight III ship will be the most capable DDG-51-class ship ever built.”

The award of the first Flight III -– named for Marine Capt. Jack H. Lucas — comes as the service has been in negotiations for more than a year with HII and Bath over the engineering change proposals to modify the current Flight IIA design to accommodate the Raytheon-built AN/SPY-6 radar with the necessary power, cooling and an adequate margin for growth for future systems.

The radar will allow the guided missile destroyers to better detect and track traditional air warfare threats like cruise missiles and aircraft as well as ballistic missiles simultaneously, the Navy has said.

Naval Sea Systems Command Image

Late last month, acting Navy acquisition chief Allison Stiller told a House Armed Services panel the service had reached a “handshake deal” with HII for the first Flight III hull.

Previous to Stiller’s comments the service had said last year that Bath would be the first yard to build the Flight III configuration has part of a complex “ship swap” agreement that awarded a third Fiscal Year 2016 DDG to BIW while Ingalls picked up a long-lead contract award for the planned amphibious warship Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28).

However, since the deal 2016 announcement from the Navy, BIW has expressed concern with the of the Flight III design concept and publically questioned its maturity.

“We are actively working with the Navy on Flight III and swap ship contract negotiations,” a spokeswoman for the Maine shipyard told USNI News in May.
“The history of Navy shipbuilding has shown significant risk to cost and schedule in starting construction when the design of the ship and ship systems is largely incomplete.”

Last week Stiller told the Senate Armed Services Committee the service was farther behind with BIW in Flight III negotiations.

“We recently received a proposal from Bath Iron Works for their ECP (engineering change proposal) and we’re in negotiations with them,” she said.
“We’ve also received a bid from them on their ‘16 ship as a Flight IIA, and we’re also asking them to also give us an ECP to look at that as a Flight III.”

In addition to the SPY-6, the changes to the design will increase the power available on the ship by replacing three Rolls Royce 3-megawatt generators on the Flight IIA ships with Rolls Royce’s 4-megawatt generator in the same footprint on the ship.

The electrical grid on the ship will also be upgraded from the 450-volt configuration to a 4,160-volt grid, which will lead to additional design changes.

The ship is the fifth and last HII ship in a ten-hull multiyear destroyer deal crafted in 2013 between HII and Burke builder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. At the time of the award, the price per hull came to $660 million for HII and $700 million for BIW. The cost for the hulls did not include so-called government-furnished equipment like radars or combat weapon systems which bring the cost of the destroyers to the government at more than $1 billion.

The Pentagon did not release the dollar amount of HII’s Flight III award saying, “the contract award amount is considered source selection sensitive information.”

The following is the complete June 27, 2017 contract award statement.

Huntington Ingalls Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi, is being awarded a fixed-price-incentive-firm target modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-13-C-2307) for incorporation of the Flight III baseline on DDG 125. Flight III will incorporate the SPY-6 (Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR)) and upgrade the electrical power and cooling capacity plus additional associated changes. As this award represents the first DDG 51 Flight III baseline contract award, and the Navy expects to release a competitive solicitation for additional DDG 51 class ships in the Flight III configuration in future years, the contract award amount is considered source selection sensitive information (see 41 U.S. Code 2101, et seq., Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 2.101 and FAR 3.104) and will not be made public at this time. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Mississippi (60 percent); Cincinnati, Ohio (7 percent); Walpole, Massachusetts (5 percent); York, Pennsylvania (2 percent); Camden, New Jersey (1 percent); Erie, Pennsylvania (1 percent); Charlottesville, Virginia (1 percent); and other locations below 1 percent (collectively totaling 23 percent), and is scheduled to complete in fiscal 2024. Fiscal 2017 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.




  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    Sooo…. what jumps out here is the hull of a flight-2 Burke was costing merely $100m more than an LCS?!

    I’m not the first to say it, but if this is the price that can be achieved, then why can’t a cut-down rudimentary version of the Burke fill the USN’s need for a frigate fleet?

    Everywhere around the world frigates are pretty large now with 7,000 tonnes being pretty normal.

    Get rid of the rear VLS block for more aviation/mission space.
    Replace the massive top mast with something smaller/cheaper and more appropriate & substitute in the baby version of AN/SPY-1 like the Norwegians use.

    Job done….. you’ll have the best super-sized frigate in the world and won’t have to wait another decade for the USN to finally grasp the reality that an up-gunned LCS will never be a combatant for peer-state war.

    • PolicyWonk

      Imagine that – for a mere $100M more, we get a Burke instead of an LCS that doesn’t even meet the level-1 construction standard. And then we don’t need mission packages, meaning its *cheaper* to buy Burkes than to buy either LCS variant.

      How pathetic is THAT? It also becomes clear, that the claim that LCS is “cheaper” than a Burke is yet another massive falsehood.

      A cut-down Burke would save this nation a fortune, would be far more useful, and would have much of the same supply chain – meaning even greater savings in the long run.

      Unfortunately, that would mean killing a lucrative corporate welfare program thats delivering so much value to Austal and LockMart (concerns about the taxpayers hard-earned money obviously isn’t part of the consideration ;-P).

    • logicbomb007

      What are you talking about, your out to lunch? The Current LCS price tag is more like half that of the Burk flight III, has been for most of the hulls built and that is just before any of the real high ticket items get added. All those SPY radars and massive weapons systems translates to a much bigger bump in the end price tag for the Burk flight III then for the LCS.

      Countries around the world have these massive frigates cause they don’t have any destroyers in there fleet or to be more exact these are destroyers doing the modern destroyer roll just like a Burk but called a frigate. Terms like destroyer or frigate don’t really have any technical meaning any more its more political and varying tradition between Navies. All Japanese capital ships are destroyers while all the large french surface combatants are Frigates up to the FREMM which by there own admission is actually a air defense destroyers.

      I mean your talking about going back to SPY-1 on this cut-down Burk hull which has even less power capacity, which was the whole issue with the older full sized Burk hulls to begin-with? The USN doesn’t need a smaller lamer deep draft blue water Aegis destroyer, maybe more flight III or something bigger. What they do need Is a whole lot of Patrol coastal, minesweepers and modest ASW frigates to replace the most worn and obsolete hulls in the fleet.

      • Rocco

        You don’t know what your talking about!! FYI there is 2 versions of the LCS!!

        • logicbomb007

          FYI both versions are cheaper all said and done then a new burk before GFM. Baby you dont know what ur talking about!

          • logicbomb007

            No sweet heart, there not. Now reach down between ur legs grab both shoulders and pull ur heah put of there and stop trying to tall out it.

    • USNVO

      I guess you didn’t read the part about the contract cost not including GFM? You know, things like gun mounts, VLS launchers, AEGIS (system, CIWS/SeaRAM, etc. You are mistaking contract cost for the shipbuilder and the final cost for the government which includes pre-comm crew support, program office overhead, pre-com training cost, GFM, and several other things. LCS has a much lower proportion of cost in GFM so its overall cost is more like $700million while a DDG is more like $1.5B. This is also why the Danes can “build” a ship for only $325mil because they don’t include any of the GFM or work done to finish the ship at a government shipyard in the final cost.

      • Rocco

        All he did was make a suggestion in which I thought was valid with out trying to upstage him!!

        • USNVO

          Really? You thought he made a reasoned argument by comparing the complete cost of an LCS and the Mission Package against the construction contract of a DDG absent any GFM which more than doubles the cost of the ship (which was clearly stated in the original post). And then using said creative math to claim a DDG is cheaper than an LCS? You thought that was a good suggestion? Well OK then.

    • Curtis Conway

      The radar should be the 9-RMA AN/SPY-6(v). More aviation is good, and one missile field would be fine if we include some ESSM in the loadout. This would make an SQS-53 sub-hunter an easy build. However, an ice-hardened hull for service in the Arctic/Antarctic is really required in some numbers. We have nothing that can do that today, and this requirement should take a priority. The Tail and VDS can be on board with all the fantail mods that make the vessel more efficient in the water, and the Main Propulsion should be a HED system so they can stretch their fuel. Sounds good to me.

  • publius_maximus_III

    AWRIGHT, come on USS Lucas. More destroyers, more destroyers, more DDG-51 Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyers.

  • Matthew Schilling

    Do they plan on adding a feature to these new ships to help spot 30,000 ton vessels bearing down on them?

    • Bruce Parker

      7 American Sailors Died in that Collision, so Why don’t not you show them some respect, and stop your childish finger pointing!…

      • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

        Your right Bruce, that 30,000 freighter appeared out of nowhere.
        Like a deer on a lonely road…. no way anyone could have the means to spot something so small and quick!

      • Guest

        State of the art DDG, with multiple radars, sonar, tracking party tasked with nothing but maintaining situational awareness, bridge watch, and multiple lookouts got t-boned by a 30kt loaded container ship, lit up like a C-mas tree, that was broadcasting its position, course, and speed to the world. Yet no one even seen it coming or even sounded the collision alarm, leaving those 7 sailors to drown in their racks. I can respect the dead, but whatever ills that DDG has going on aboard, deserves no “respect”. The failures are pretty breathtaking, in so many areas and ways. Is it confined to the Fitz, or is it an indicator of severe institutional problem(s)?

        • Aj jordan

          I still say that incident was a terror attack on an American destroyer….. Just the way it turns back into the Fitzgerald is fishy enough.

  • Aj jordan

    Why didn’t they lengthen the design, and add in more VLS?????? !!!!!! I’m sure lengthening a burke isn’t impossible, and that would give way to a replacement to the Ticonderoga’s …..

  • Banderas

    I’d like to be able comment on this article, but my posts always get the “waiting to be approved by USNI” status. Why is that?

  • E1 Kabong

    Bad job trolling, boy.

    Chinese make targets, not weapons.

    We’ve seen that in Desert Storm.

  • logicbomb007

    OK, Complain to the editor.

  • Banderas

    I consider the flight III burke to be a terrible ship. Its a short term solution with a short sighted approach to a long term problem. Even with a stretched hull, it’s still too small to effectively accomplish what they are trying to do with it; which is replace the Tico’s. It’s an exceedingly old platform and design with little flexibility necessary to accommodate the tech coming in the near future. Why invest so much money in AMDR, if you aren’t going to be able to run that radar at full effectiveness since you’ve reduced its aperture size just to fit it on that sub par hull. Also, its so tightly packed with AMDR prerequisites (generator and cooling), more missiles, and a sub-optimally implemented radar, that it offers little flexibility to do anything else. There’s virtually no room for future upgrades, essentially capping its potential. With all the new weapons that will be fielded in the near future; like rail guns, lasers, & cannons that can utilize the HVP guided shells, why limit your potential for future tech by building this ship? Therefore the only effective thing we can do with it is just make it a dedicated BMD launcher/defender and relegate them to the carrier defense group. Sooo, at 2.2 billion a pop for such an old platform (albeit stretched), and with no stealth enhancements (like Zumwalt); its a very expensive band aid! They should have put the AMDR on the Zumwalt to act as the test bed.

    • Rocco

      The Zumwalt suck by the way !! Wasted taxpayers money!! How do you know what the Navy has in mind? A new traditional Cruiser can always be designed.

  • Bruce Parker

    It Seems that some of you Bathtub Skippers have Lost your bar of Soap!…

  • Ed L

    need more chain and Gatling guns on it.

  • Rocco

    So what!!!

  • Rocco

    You have kettel balls!!

  • E1 Kabong

    Shoo, spammer troll.

    Learn English.

  • Rob C.

    I wonder what Bath’s real problem with it. I know the shipyard has alot trouble. Making noise to get more money so they can afford to keep their work force employed while they gear up to build Burke Flight IIIs. Their going torpedo themselves if their not careful.

  • logicbomb007

    Sorry you actually have to put it in the water to have launched it, having a hull and superstructure on stands in the yard is not a ready ship.

  • Ed L

    Shame No aft 5 inch