The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA guided missile destroyer, the future USS Frank E Petersen Jr (DDG 121), has successfully completed builder’s trials.

The vessel spent three days at sea in the Gulf of Mexico for the trials, which were conducted by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division.

According to HII, the trials involved testing the ship’s combat system, which included firing a missile.

Ingalls DDG 51 programme manager John Fillmore said: “Ingalls, Navy Aegis Test Team, the Navy ship’s force, the programme office, numerous combat systems participating acquisition managers, and Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair worked together to ensure a successful builder’s trial.

“A successful builder’s trial sets us up for a final trial prior to delivery.”

DDG 121 has been named after the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) first African American aviator and officer, lieutenant general Frank E Petersen Jr.

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The ship is the 71st Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and the fifth of a total fleet of 21 DDG-51 vessels currently under contract for the US Navy.

HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division is also working on Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), Ted Stevens (DDG 128), Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129) and Jack H Lucas (DDG 125) destroyers.

The 509.5ft-long destroyer will feature the Aegis combat system. It was christened in October 2018.

The Flight IIA DDG-51s incorporate some design changes, including the addition of a helicopter hangar.

The warships are deployed to conduct a range of operations including power projection, forward presence and escort operations at sea, open ocean conflict and more.

US Navy Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships DDG 51 programme manager captain Seth Miller said: “Completion of these trials gives us confidence that DDG 121 will be able to conduct successful Acceptance Trials in mid-September.

“The Navy and industry team continues to work diligently to ensure the ship is ready to operate at its peak performance and can provide capability and capacity to the fleet.”