Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has secured a contract modification to integrate Flight III upgrades on to the Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided missile destroyer for the US Navy.

DDG 125 is the last of five destroyers to be built by HHI under a $3.33bn contract that was originally awarded by the navy in June 2013.

The new DDG 125 will be deployed with the latest advanced missile defence radar (AMDR) in order to replace the existing SPY-1 radar installed on the earlier DDG 51 vessels.

The already-installed power and cooling will be increased when required to support the latest Flight III systems.

HII Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said: “We have proven our success in the DDG 51 class over the past 30 years, and our shipbuilders are ready now to build the first Flight III ship.

“This will be the 35th Aegis destroyer we will build for the US Navy in what has been one of our company’s most successful programmes.

"These ships are in high demand, and this Flight III ship will be the most capable DDG 51-class ship ever built.”

"These ships are in high demand, and this Flight III ship will be the most capable DDG 51-class ship ever built."

The original contract for the development of five destroyer vessels forms part of a multi-year procurement in the DDG 51 programme.

HHI has delivered 29 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the US Navy to date., and the newest John Finn (DDG 113) destroyer is slated to be commissioned on 15 July in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.

The vessels currently being built by the company are Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121) and Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123).

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission vessels that can perform a wide range of operations, and are also capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface warfare.

Image: HII rendering of Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), the US Navy’s first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Photo: courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.