Huntington Ingalls Industries has laid the keel of what would be the U.S. Navy’s third Flight III destroyer under the Arleigh Burke class.
Naval Sea Systems Command said Thursday it held a ceremony on March 9 to commemorate the future USS Ted Stevens‘ start of construction, where the ship’s modular components have been joined together at the land level.
Catherine Stevens, wife of the senator whose name the ship takes, and her daughters serve as the ship’s sponsor. HII had their initials etched onto the ship’s keel plate as part of the ceremony.
The ship, also known as DDG 128, will employ the AN/SPY-6(V)1 air and missile defense radar as part of the Flight III package, which includes updated electrical and cooling systems.
“Flight III ships like the future USS Ted Stevens will serve as a deterrent to our adversaries using the ship’s increased power projection capability as a result of the upgraded AEGIS Combat System and air and missile defense radar,” said Capt. Seth Miller, the Navy’s program manager, for the Arleigh Burke class.
Stevens was the country’s longest-serving senator under the republican party and had served as president pro tempore from January 2003 to the same month in 2007.