The keel for the future USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129), a Flight III Arleigh-Burke class destroyer was ceremonially laid at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division, August 16.
The ship is named for former Senator Jeremiah Denton, Jr., a Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism as a prisoner of war. Following his Navy career, he was elected to the U.S. Senate representing his home state of Alabama in 1980.
The contemporary keel laying ceremony represents the joining together of a ship’s modular components at the land level. The keel is authenticated with the ship sponsors’ initials etched into a ceremonial keel plate as part of the ceremony. Co-sponsors of DDG 129 are the daughters of the namesake, Madeline Denton Doak and Mary Denton Lewis.
“We are honored to build a ship named for the late Senator Denton and to have his family present to celebrate this important milestone on the path to delivering another Flight III destroyer to the Fleet,” said Capt. Seth Miller, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “The USS Jeremiah Denton is the Navy’s next great warship, which will provide power projection with the latest advanced combat capability.”
The DDG 51 Flight III upgrade is centered on the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar and incorporates upgrades to the electrical power and cooling capacity plus additional associated changes to provide greatly enhanced warfighting capability to the fleet. Flight III is the latest Flight upgrade in the more than 30-year history of the class, building on the proud legacy of 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), the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), the future USS Ted Stevens (DDG 128) and the future USS George M. Neal (DDG 131).
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, sealift ships, support ships, boats and craft.