Navy Takes Delivery of First Flight III Destroyer Jack H. Lucas

June 27, 2023 5:59 PM
Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) underway in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2023. HII Photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Navy on Tuesday formally took delivery of the first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer from HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding.

Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) delivered to the Navy after wrapping up acceptance trials in May in the Gulf of Mexico.

“On DDG-125, with the new combat system, new Spy-6 radar, we had four trials at sea to demonstrate the requirements of the ship and the mission capability of the ship,” George Nungesser, the vice president of program management for Ingalls, told reporters Tuesday.

Jack H. Lucas is the first ship that will field Raytheon’s new AN/SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar, as well as an updated Aegis Combat System. While an O-5 commands the older Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, an O-6 will command the Flight IIIs, which will assume the air defense mission in carrier strike groups once the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers the Navy phase out of the fleet.

The destroyer will remain at the shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., for approximately 120 days after delivery, allowing the crew to move onto the ship in a few weeks as Ingalls finishes work on trial cards from the Navy, Nungesser said by phone to reporters at the annual Modern Day Marine conference.

Once the ship sails away, the one-year warranty period begins.

“Delivering the first Flight III ship reflects the relentless efforts of our shipbuilders and those of our Navy and supplier partners,” Ingalls Shipbuilding president Kari Wilkinson, said in a company statement. “We are committed to maintaining a consistent and resilient destroyer production team in order to be ready to support the Navy and our country.”

Ingalls is currently building four Flight III destroyers at its yard in Pascagoula: Ted Stevens (DDG-128), Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129), George M. Neal (DDG-131) and Sam Nunn (DDG-133).

While Jack H. Lucas is the last destroyer from a 2013 multi-year buy for 10 hulls, the Navy inked another multi-year procurement deal for 10 ships between Fiscal Year 2018 and FY 2023. Lawmakers subsequently authorized the Navy to pursue another multi-year procurement contract for FY 2023 through FY 2027 for as many as 15 ships.

Meanwhile, Legend-class National Security Cutter Calhoun (WMSL-759) left Ingalls on Tuesday morning for its first sea trials, Nungesser said.

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne

Mallory Shelbourne is a reporter for USNI News. She previously covered the Navy for Inside Defense and reported on politics for The Hill.
Follow @MalShelbourne

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox