The keel of the future USS Ted Stevens (DDG 128), the 78and The Arleigh Burke-class ship was ceremonially laid down at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding on March 9.
The ship is named after the late Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska. Stevens was the longest serving Republican U.S. senator in history when he left office and was the third senator to hold the title of president emeritus pro tempore. He served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate in the 108and and 109and Congress.
The contemporary keel-laying ceremony represents the assembly of the modular components of a ship at land level. The keel is authenticated with the initials of the ship’s sponsors engraved on a ceremonial keel plate as part of the ceremony. The sponsors of DDG 128 are Catherine Stevens, wife of the ship’s namesake, and Susan Stevens Covich and Lily Stevens Becker, daughters of the namesake.
“The Flight III upgrade fills a critical need for the Navy. 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 through upgrades to the AEGIS combat system and air and missile defense radar,” said said Captain Seth Miller, DDG Class 51. Program Manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “We are honored to have the Stevens family with us today as we mark this important milestone in building the Navy’s and the Nation’s next great warship.”
The DDG 51 Flight III upgrade focuses on the AN/SPY-6(V)1 air and missile defense radar and incorporates power supply and cooling capacity upgrades as well as additional modifications combined to provide vastly improved combat capability to the fleet. The Flight III is the latest flight upgrade in the class’s more than 30-year history, building on the proud heritage of the Flight I, II and IIA ships before it.
HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding is also in production on the future USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129), and USS George M. Neal (DDG 131).
As one of the Department of Defense’s largest procurement organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift vessels, support vessels , boats and watercraft.