WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy's Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) destroyers continue to achieve shipbuilding milestones with start of construction at both shipbuilders, Bath Iron Works (BIW), Bath, Maine, and Huntington Ingalls Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi.
On May 17, construction of the future USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124) began at BIW. The ship's namesake, Col. Harvey "Barney" Barnum, Jr. (Ret.), was on hand to officially mark the start of fabrication on the ship.
In Pascagoula, Mississippi, construction of the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) officially began May 7. DDG-125 will be the first Arleigh Burke class destroyer built in the Flight III configuration with improved capability and capacity to perform anti-air warfare (AAW) and ballistic missile defense (BMD) in support of the integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) mission.
These milestones, which signify the first 100 tons of steel being cut, were marked with ceremonies held in the shipyards' respective fabrication shops.
"This is an exciting time in the DDG-51 program as we celebrate the start of construction on DDG-124 and DDG-125," said Capt. Casey Moton, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "Both of these ships are named after Medal of Honor recipients and we are proud to honor their legacy with such capable warfighters."
These ships are Aegis baseline 9 (DDG-124) and baseline 10 (DDG-125) IAMD destroyers with significant capabilities against modern air warfare and BMD threats. When operational, these multi-mission surface combatants will serve as integral players in global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense as well as providing increased capabilities in anti-submarine warfare, command and control, and anti-surface warfare.
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.
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