The U.S. Navy has successfully achieved several important milestones for the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer Flight III upgrade, representing significant progress toward delivering critical Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability to the fleet.
According to a recent service news release, the DDG 51 Flight III upgrade is centered on the AMDR/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) system that provides improved capability over earlier DDG 51 class ships by enabling Flight III ships to simultaneously perform Anti-Air Warfare and Ballistic Missile Defense. To support this upgrade the Navy is testing and integrating ship systems at existing land-based facilities.
“This has been an extremely exciting few weeks for the DDG 51 Aegis shipbuilding program,” said Capt. Seth Miller, DDG 51 program manager. “The program remains on track to deliver this tremendous capability to the fleet. Completion of these most recent milestones is a significant accomplishment and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Flight III team.”
At the Land-Based Engineering Site (LBES) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania efforts are focused on testing the Hull, Mechanical and Electrical (HM&E) equipment required to facilitate the increased power and cooling requirements for the radar. The Navy recently achieved “light-off” of the Flight III electrical plant at LBES, representing completion of the Flight III HM&E equipment installation and marking the beginning of land-based HM&E system integration testing of the Flight III power system.
Concurrent with these efforts, the Navy also recently accepted and installed a new AMDR array for land-based testing of the Flight III combat system at the Combat Systems Engineering Development Site in Moorestown, New Jersey. This array, along with the rest of the power distribution equipment, will be used for integration testing with the Aegis Combat System.
With Flight III ships under construction at shipbuilders Huntington Ingalls – Ingalls Shipbuilding Division in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, completing the test programs at both engineering sites is critical to successfully integrating these complex systems.
This is particularly true for the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), the first Flight III under construction, as it moves towards its own activation and test programs. Just last week, the second of four AMDR radar arrays was installed by HII-Ingalls in the deckhouse of the Jack H. Lucas, a significant construction event.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet, with 68 ships delivered to the Fleet. These highly capable, multi-mission ships conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence to national security.
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