May marked a pair of milestones in the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer program, including the start of fabrication of the first Flight III ship, according to Naval Sea Systems Command.
Steel was cut on the future Jack Lucas (DDG-125) at Huntington Ingalls Industries earlier this month, just after the Navy and the shipbuilders completed the final functional design of the Flight III ship. The ship is named after Marine Jack Lucas, who earned a Medal of Honor for actions in the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.
The Flight III hull is designed around the under-development AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) that will replace the AN/SPY-1D(V). The Raytheon-built SPY-6 promises a radar that would be up to 30 times more sensitive than the legacy SPY-1 radars but also demands more power. The additional requirements to accommodate the SPY-6 prompted a redesign of the DDG’s hull.