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The US Navy’s first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, Jack H Lucas (DDG 125), has been christened at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division.

Co-sponsors Ruby Lucas and Catherine Reynolds officially christened the vessel during a ceremony held at HII’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The guided-missile ship has been named in honour of US Marine Private First Class Jacklyn Harold ‘Jack’ Lucas, the youngest marine and service member in World War II.

According to the US Navy, USS Jack H Lucas is the US Navy’s first combat warship to bear his name.

HII Shipbuilding president Kari Wilkinson said: “Our Ingalls shipbuilders have a deep appreciation and respect for what sailors and Marines do on behalf of our nation. We are proud to support them and to provide them with this remarkable ship, our first Flight III destroyer.”

The US Navy’s Jack H Lucas DDG 125 was launched by HII in June 2021 as a part of a multi-year procurement DDG 51 programme.

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Designed to operate in multi-threat environments, the future DDG 125 provides anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities.

The Flight III upgrade is centred on the AN/SPY-6(V)1 air and missile defence radar (AMDR) system.

The Flight III baseline starts with DDG 125 and 126, 128 and the follow-on ships.

The ship can perform both anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defence simultaneously, which will enhance US Navy’s surface combatant Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) and warfighting capabilities.

The 509.5ft-long and 59ft-wide USS Jack H Lucas will be homeported in San Diego, California.

US Navy chief of naval operations admiral Michael Gilday said: “Jack H Lucas is not only the most capable and sophisticated surface combatant ever built by man, but it also represents the bridge from the past to the future, as we bring a new radar, the Aegis Baseline 10, and a new electric plant onto an already highly capable platform.”