Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula started fabrication Wednesday on the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) destroyer Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123).
The start of fabrication signifies the first 100 tons of steel have been cut.
The ship is named in honor of Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee, the first woman to receive the Navy Cross. She joined the Navy in 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.
The Higbee is the fourth of five Arleigh Burke-class destroyers awarded to Ingalls in June 2013. The five-ship contract, part of a multi-year procurement in the DDG 51 program, allows Ingalls to build ships more efficiently by buying bulk material and moving the skilled workforce from ship to ship.
“Ingalls has delivered 29 of these ships to the U.S. Navy, and our hot production line continues to improve the construction process,” Ingalls President Brian Cuccias said. “The ships are tremendous assets to our country’s fleet, and we look forward to delivering another quality destroyer to the Navy.”
With the start of Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee, Ingalls has five destroyers under construction. The Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) will undergo sea trials later this year and is scheduled to be delivered by the end of the year. The Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) will be christened April 8. The Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) will launch later this year, and the Frank E. Petersen Jr.’s (DDG 121) keel will be laid in the first quarter of this year.