PASCAGOULA, Miss., Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Fabrication of the next Arleigh Burke-class destroyer for the U.S. Navy has been started by the shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
The 100 tons of steel cut by robotic machines of Ingalls Shipbuilding is for the future USS Ralph Johnson, the 30th Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided missile destroyer built by the company.
"The DDG 51 program continues to be a model of success for our company," said DDG 51 Program Manager George Nungesser. "We have talented, experienced shipbuilders working on this program, and they have provided excellent quality on Aegis destroyers since the program's inception."
Ingalls in June was awarded a $3.3 billion, multi-year construction contract to build five more DDG 51 destroyers, ensuring Ingalls will build DDGs for the next decade. A total of 28 DDG 51 ships have so far been delivered to the Navy.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles with a variety of offensive and defensive weapon systems.