Tag Archives: AN/SPY-6(V)1

Jack Lucas, Christened

One of my regular stops every few weeks when I go back “home” to Pascagoula, besides Ed’s Drive-In, is the Old Coast Guard Station, AKA “The Point” where I chronicle the fleet being built at Ingalls, something I’ve done ever since I pedaled my AMF Gold Fever down there as a snot-nosed kid. Over the years I’ve seen Spruances, Kidds, Ticos, Burkes, Sa’ar Vs, Tarawas, Wasps, San Antonios, and the like slide down the ways. I even saw the rusty but still beautiful old Iowa come towed past the point and then ultimately sail on her own back out to sea, and her sister ship Wisconsin do the same thing three years later.

A recent trip to The Point showed USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002), the third and final Zumwalt-class destroyer, along the West Bank of the Pascagoula River to receive her armament fit, the 12th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-28) finishing her outfitting, and PCU USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121), a Flight IIA Burke, on the historic old East Bank finishing her days at the yard before she sails to be commissioned at Charleston in May.

As a youth, I was on the ground at Ingalls with my high school JROTC unit to provide the color guard for several christenings and commissionings (USS Cape St. George, Stout, Mitscher, Russell, et, al) then as a young adult helped build several of these vessels including USS Boxer, Stethem, Ramage, Benfold, and so on.

However, I always felt that there was never really a historic Mississippi connection to these vessels, until recently. Even the USS Farragut— who called Pascagoula a hometown for a while— was somehow built in Maine.

While the “invincible” Jacklyn Harold “Jack” Lucas hailed from North Carolina, the youngest Medal of Honor recipient in WWII– who saved the lives of three men on Iwo Jima just six days after his 17th birthday (and enlisted at 14!)– spent most of his adult life, including his twilight years, in South Mississippi.

I even met Mr. Lucas “Call me Jack” at an event in Hattiesburg a few years before his death. He was a total gentleman and a hell of a storyteller.

So it filled my heart with joy to find out that the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), the first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, has been quietly under construction at Ingalls since 2019.

A photo I took last month, showing the future Flight IIA Burke USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), front, and PCU USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), rear, at Ingalls’s West Bank, fitting out. Note the differences in their masts. The 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.”

Lucas was christened this weekend.

I SPY

Raytheon announced last week that it has delivered the first AN/SPY-6(V)1 radar array to Huntington Ingalls for installation on the Navy’s future guided-missile destroyer USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125), the first of the Flight III Arleigh Burkes. [As a side, I met Jack in Hattiesburg several years ago, and he was an absolute gentleman.]

“SPY-6 will change how the Navy conducts surface fleet operations,” said Capt. Jason Hall, program manager for Above-Water Sensors for the US Navy’s Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems in a press release.

The first 14-foot-by-14-foot modular array was transported from Raytheon’s Radar Development Facility in Andover, Mass., to the Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., company officials said. In November 2019, Raytheon received a $97.3 million contract modification for integration and maintenance of the AN/SPY-6(V) air and missile defense radar system on Navy vessels.