SECNAV Del Toro Names New Destroyers for Former SECNAV Danzig, CJCS Mullen

May 22, 2024 5:13 PM - Updated: May 22, 2024 11:40 PM
Former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig (l) and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen.

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro announced the names of two Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers in a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy Wednesday.

Future DDG-143 will be named USS Richard J. Danzig, after the former secretary of the Navy, while DDG-144 will be named USS Michael G. Mullen, after the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“Secretary Danzig and Adm. Mullen are visionary leaders in the mold of the greatest naval leaders that came before them,” Del Toro said in his remarks.
“DDG 143 and DDG 144—once built and commissioned—will be the most technologically advanced warships ever built, just as Jack H. Lucas, Carney, Arleigh Burke, and each of their predecessors in the long and storied life of this class… And these ships will carry on the legacies of public service that Secretary Danzig and Adm. Mullen personify, and will be crewed by the most capable young men and women our nation has to offer.”

Danzig served as the 71st secretary of the Navy. During his time as secretary, he developed and expanded the Navy College Program, the use of civilian teams to paint ships and enhanced automation on ships, according to his Navy biography.

Mullen began his four-year term as chair of the Joint Chiefs in October 2007, during which the U.S. continued its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He retired after 43 years of service in 2011.

“This is an honor of a lifetime and one I certainly never expected. It says so much about the Navy that I love, and it represents most of my life at sea,” Mullen said in a statement.
“So, along with my wife, Deborah, and my family, this is just something that is so very, very special.”

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

The ships are part of a Fiscal Year 2023 multi-year contract between the Navy and destroyer builders HII Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine. Danzig will be built in Ingalls while Mullen will be built in Maine, according to FY 2025 budget documents.
According to the budget documents, the construction of both hulls is set to start in 2027.

The future destroyers are part of the Fiscal Year 2024 ships as part of the overall $14.5 billion multi-year deal for the Flight III destroyers for both yards.

In FY 2023 BIW was awarded the contract option for Thomas Kelley (DDG-140) while HII was awarded Ernest E. Evans (DDG-141) and Charles J. French (DDG-142).

The Flight III destroyers are the first Navy combatants to be fitted with the AN/SPY-6 air and missile defense radar that will allow the destroyers to interdict ballistic missiles as well as traditional cruise missile threats. The first Flight III, USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) joined the fleet in October.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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