HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division has commenced fabrication of the US Navy’s latest Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) destroyer Sam Nunn (DDG 133).

This commencement denotes that the shipyard is prepared to proceed with the building of the vessel. The first 100 tonnes of steel for the vessel have been cut.

Ingalls Shipbuilding DDG 51 programme manager John Fillmore said: “Our shipbuilders are very proud of our DDG 51 production line work.

“Starting another Flight III destroyer gives Ingalls and all of our navy and industry partners the opportunity to share years of knowledge and best practices as together we continue to build this most capable platform for our nation. Our continued collaboration has become the hallmark of this programme.”

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission vessels that can carry out several operations, right from crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the military strategy of the US.

Once operational, Sam Nunn will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously.

The vessel will feature several offensive and defensive weapons intended to support maritime defence requirements.

On 30 November, Ingalls delivered the guided missile destroyer Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123). This is the 34th Arleigh Burke-class vessel delivered to the US Navy, and is also the final Flight IIA Ship constructed at Ingalls as the US Navy moves to Flight III destroyers.

Currently, the future Arleigh Burke-class Flight III destroyers – Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), Ted Stevens (DDG 128), Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129) and George M. Neal (DDG 131), are under production at Ingalls.