Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has lifted the aft deckhouse onto guided missile destroyer Jack H Lucas (DDG 125) in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The 320t aft deckhouse includes radar equipment rooms, main engine intake and exhaust compartments, an electric shop and staterooms.

Ingalls DDG 125 programme manager Ben Barnett said: “Our team has kept this first Flight III ship ahead of schedule by working collaboratively and using lessons learned from our long history of building destroyers.

“Our entire shipbuilding team has worked tirelessly to ensure that all of our efforts have been aligned to implement all Flight III changes successfully on this ship.

“With this lift, we are one step closer to delivering the US Navy the most technologically advanced destroyer in the fleet.”

Awarded to HII in June 2013, DDG 125 is the fifth of five Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. It is the first Flight III ship with enhanced radar capability and other technological upgrades.

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Part of a multi-year procurement in the DDG 51 programme, the five-ship contract allows Ingalls to build ships efficiently by buying bulk material and managing its skilled resources effectively.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission ships capable of conducting diverse operations, including peacetime missions, crisis management, sea control and power projection.

The guided missile vessels can simultaneously fight air, surface and subsurface battles. They comprise myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs.

Last November, Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel of the guided-missile destroyer Jack H Lucas.