On Saturday, the U.S. Navy christened the destroyer USS Jack H. Lucas. The latest iteration of the long-running Arleigh Burke destroyer class.
DDG-125 will be the 73rd Arleigh Burke manufactured since the first in the class was commissioned in 1991. As the backbone of the Navy’s surface combatant fleet, they may be found deployed around the world. Additionally, however, this one is special: Jack H. Lucas is the first to be built with the AN/SPY-6 air and missile defense radar. This next-generation phased-array radar has been in development since 2013, and it has unusual capabilities. It is about 30 times more sensitive than the previous generation of radars for the Arleigh Burke. Furthermore, thanks to recently-developed gallium nitride semiconductor technology. However, it consumes about twice as much power as the previous AN/SPY-1. This means that the Navy had to design significant power-generation upgrades into the latest iteration of the Arleigh Burke class.
“Jack H. Lucas is not only the most capable and sophisticated surface combatant ever built by man, but it also represents the bridge from the past to the future. As we bring a new radar, the Aegis Baseline 10, and a new electric plant onto an already highly capable platform.” said Chief of Naval Operations Mike Gilday at the christening ceremony. “Flight III represents the dedication and commitment of our sailors and civilians. As well, the skill and innovation of our shipyards and industry partners — and the commitment of the American people to keep the seas free and open for all.”