The US Navy has launched its future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), at Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Pascagoula shipyard.
The launch marks the beginning of the vessel's final outfitting and production phases.
Programme Executive Office Ships DDG 51 class programme manager US Navy captain Casey Moton said: “Production efforts on our Arleigh Burke-class destroyers remain strong.
“With four DDG 51 class ships currently in the water and en-route to delivery, the programme is in serial production and leveraging production efficiencies.”
USS Delbert D. Black has been named in honour of the first master chief petty officer of the navy (MCPON).
The US Navy vessel is being configured as a Flight IIA destroyer, which will allow power projection, forward presence and escort operations at sea in support of low intensity conflict / coastal and littoral offshore warfare, along with open ocean conflict.
It is set to be integrated with the navy's Aegis combat system, which will enable groups of naval ships and aircraft to link their radars when combined with cooperative engagement capabilities.
This is expected to help deliver a composite picture of the battle space, thereby effectively increasing the theatre space.
HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division originally marked the start of fabrication for the US Navy's DDG 119 guided-missile destroyer in July 2015.
The vessel was the third destroyer to commence fabrication under the navy's fiscal 2013 to 2017 multi-year procurement deal.
HII secured a $602m contract modification to build the DDG 119 vessel for the US Navy in March 2014.
The company is also currently under contract to construct one additional vessel known as Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), which was awarded as part of the five-ship, multi-year procurement for the fiscal years 2013-2017.