The final Flight IIA Arleigh Burke destroyer to be built at Ingalls Shipbuilding delivered to the Navy on Tuesday, the service announced.
Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) delivered to the service in a small ceremony at the Pascagoula, Miss., yard, during which the shipyard signed over ownership of the ship.
“Delivering an incredibly capable finished ship to the Navy is always an important event for our Ingalls team,” said Kari Wilkinson, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding, in a statement.
Higbee was procured as part of a 2013 multi-ship award between Ingalls and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Maine. The keel was laid in 2017, and the ship launched in 2020.
The destroyer is built around the Lockheed Martin AN/SPY-1D air search radar and the Aegis Combat Systems Baseline 9C2 installed, according to Naval Sea Systems Command. The delivery follows the completion of Navy acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico in October.
“The ship’s onboard systems, including navigation, damage control, mechanical and electrical systems, combat systems, communications, and propulsion applications, met or exceeded Navy specifications,” NAVSEA said at the time.
The ship is named for Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee, who was the second superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps during World War I and the influenza pandemic, according to a 2017 piece in Naval History Magazine.
Higbee was awarded the Navy Cross in 1920 for, “distinguished service in the line of her profession and unusual and conspicuous devotion to duty as superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps,” according to her citation.
The ship is scheduled to be commissioned in Key West next year.
Higbee will be the last Flight IIA for Ingalls before the transition to the Flight III line.
Ingalls is finishing Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125), the first Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyer that will be built around the Raytheon AN/SPY-6 active electronically scanned array air search radar. The hull of the Burke was expanded to accommodate the heavier radar that requires more power and cooling than its predecessor.
Ingalls has three other Flight III destroyers under construction — Ted Stevens (DDG-128), Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129) and George M. Neal (DDG-131
The Flight IIIs will replace the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers as the air defense platform for the U.S. carrier strike groups and serve as a transition platform ahead of the planned next-generation DDG(X) guided-missile destroyers.