HII starts fabrication of new US Navy destroyer Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123)

After the first 100 tons of steel have been cut, fabrication of the U.S. Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123) officially started on Wednesday, shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries announced

HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division will be in charge of constructing the Flight IIA: Technology Insertion destroyer.

The shipbuilder said Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee is the fourth of five Arleigh Burke-class destroyers HII that were awarded to the company in June 2013. A contract to construct another five Technology Insertion destroyers was awarded to Bath Iron Works.

The ship is named in honor of Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee, the first woman to receive the Navy Cross. Higbee joined the U.S. Navy in October 1908 as part of the newly established Navy Nurse Corps, a group of women who would become known as “The Sacred Twenty,” and became the second superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in January 1911.

“Starting fabrication on another destroyer is a great way to start the year,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said.

With the start of Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee, Ingalls has five destroyers under construction. Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) will undergo sea trials later this year and is scheduled to be delivered by the end of the year. Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) will be christened on April 8. Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) will launch later this year, and Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121) will lay its keel in the first quarter of this year.