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First Flight III Destroyer Jack Lucas Leaves Mississippi Shipyard for the Last Time

Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) leaves from Ingalls Shipbuilding on Sept. 26, 2023. HII Photo

The Navy’s first Arleigh Burke Flight III guided-missile destroyer sailed away from Ingalls Shipbuilding this week ahead of its commissioning in Tampa, Fla., next week.
USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) left the Mississippi shipyard for the last time on Tuesday, according to a statement from HII. The ship is set to arrive in Tampa on Monday, according to the commissioning committee.

“Watching Jack H. Lucas sail away is a proud moment for our entire DDG shipbuilding team,” Ingalls Shipbuilding DDG Program Manager Ben Barnett said in an HII statement.
“Our shipbuilders will follow this first Flight III destroyer with honor as it joins the fleet as one of the most highly capable destroyers we have delivered.”

The destroyer, the first built around the AN/SPY-6 air and missile defense radar, is set to replace the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers in the air defense role in the carrier strike group.

Lucas delivered from shipbuilder HII to the Navy in June after a series of series of sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico culminating in May acceptance trials.

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).

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.

Last month, the Navy awarded HII and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works a 10-hull, $14.5 billion multi-year contract for more Flight III destroyers.

In FY 2023, BIW was awarded the future USS Thomas Kelley (DDG-140). Ingalls was awarded the yet-to-be-named DDG-141 and DDG-142.