Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) on November 14, 2017. The ship is named in honor of the first woman to receive the Navy Cross.
«It is always exciting to celebrate the keel authentication of another Arleigh Burke-class destroyer», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said during a shipyard ceremony this morning. «The keel authentication is an important milestone in a ship’s life, as we lay the foundation upon which this great ship will be built. Like her namesake, DDG-123 will be strong and capable. Our men and women in the Navy – and Mrs. Higbee’s legacy – deserve nothing less».
Louisa Dixon, Virginia Munford and Pickett Wilson are the ship’s sponsors. The three women played an important role during former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ term as governor of Mississippi.
«We want to thank Ingalls Shipbuilding, its employees and its suppliers for the high standards of design and construction and the strong and important support they give their employees and the state of Mississippi», Dixon said. «We are thrilled and look forward to seeing everyone again at a christening in the very near future».
C.C. Tanner, a structural welder at Ingalls, welded the three sponsors’ initials onto a steel plate, signifying the keel of DDG-123 as being «truly and fairly laid». The plate will remain affixed to the ship throughout its lifetime.
«Today marks the true start of this ship’s construction», said Commander Scott Williams, program manager representative for Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast. «With 29 Ingalls-built Arleigh Burke-class destroyers currently in active service and four of her sister ships also in production here at Ingalls, the mere continuity of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer over the past 25 years shows their importance to our naval forces. To the men and women of Huntington Ingalls Industries who will bring DDG-123 to life, thank you. Thank you to the shipfitters, pipefitters, electricians, welders, testers and engineers who will toil in this historic shipbuilding journey that will carry a pioneer’s name».
USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123) will be the second ship named for Higbee. The first was a destroyer commissioned in 1945 and was the first U.S. Navy surface combatant named for a female member of the U.S. Navy. Higbee joined the Navy in October 1908 as part of the newly established Navy Nurse Corps, a group of women who would become known as «The Sacred Twenty», and became the second superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in January 1911.
Ingalls has delivered 29 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117), USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) and USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121).
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. DDGs are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
|Length Overall||510 feet/156 m|
|Beam – Waterline||59 feet/18 m|
|Draft||30.5 feet/9.3 m|
|Displacement – Full Load||9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons|
|Power Plant||4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW|
|Speed||in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h|
|Range||4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h|
|Crew||380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM|
|Surveillance||SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system|
|Electronics/Countermeasures||SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director|
|Aircraft||2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)|
|Armament||2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos|
Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup
Flight IIA: Technology Insertion
|DDG-116 Thomas Hudner||GDBIW||04-01-17|
|DDG-117 Paul Ignatius||HIIIS||11-12-16|
|DDG-118 Daniel Inouye||GDBIW|
|DDG-119 Delbert D. Black||HIIIS||09-08-17|
|DDG-120 Carl M. Levin||GDBIW|
|DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr.||HIIIS|
|DDG-122 John Basilone||GDBIW|
|DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee||HIIIS|