The Navy and HII [HII] marked the start of fabrication of the future Flight III Arleigh Burke

-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sam Nunn (DDG-133) on Dec. 12.

HII hosted a ceremony marking the occasion at its Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard. DDG-133 is set to be the eight Flight III vessel, which is larger than the Flight IIA variant because it focuses on accommodating the ANSPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar.

Artist rendering of the first Flight III DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125). (Image: Huntington Ingalls Industries)

The Flight III baseline variant starts on DDGs-125 and -126 then becomes the default on vessels DDG-128 and later.

DDG-133 is named as former Sen. Sam Nunn (D), who represented Georgia from 1972 to 1997 and served as Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Nunn also helped write the Department of Defense Reorganization Act and the Nunn-Luger Cooperative Threat Reduction Program that gave assistance to Russia and former Soviet states to secure and destroy excess nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons after the Cold War ended.

After leaving the Senate, Nunn co-founded the Nuclear Threat Initiative think tank in 2001.

Former Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer named DDG-133 after the former senator in May 2019 (Defense Daily, May 10, 2019).

“The future USS Sam Nunn will provide 21st Century offensive and defensive warfighting capabilities for decades to come,” Capt. Seth Miller, DDG 51 program manager withing Program Executive Office Ships, said in a statement.

The Pascagoula shipyard is also in production on the future Flight III destroyers Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125), Ted Stevens (DDG-128), Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129), and George M. Neal (DDG-131).