- USS Mason (DDG-87) is the 9th ship of the upgraded (Flight IIA) Arleigh Burke Class of AEGIS Guided Missile Destroyers, making her one of the most sophisticated ships sailing the seas.
- The mission of MASON and her officers and crew is to be prepared to conduct prompt, sustained combat operations at sea, in support of U.S. national policy. MASON is equipped to operate in high a density, multi threat environment either independently or as an integral member of a Carrier Strike Group or Surface Action Group. In addition to self-defense capabilities in Air Warfare and Undersea Warfare, MASON provides heavy area protection to other ships in the strike group.
- MASON was constructed by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. The new DDG-51 (Flight IIA) class continues the design of previous Arleigh Burkes, but with several important upgrades:
- The construction of the helicopter hangar is the most visible change for this new generation of AEGIS destroyers. This addition allows MASON to deploy with two armed Light Airborne Multipurpose System (LAMPS) MK III SH-60 Seahawk Helicopters, giving increased undersea, surface and air detection capabilities.
- The AN/SPY-1D Phased Array Radar System incorporates significant upgrades in the detection capabilities of the AEGIS Weapons System, particularly in its resistance to enemy Electronic Countermeasures. The four fixed arrays of “SPY” send out radar beams of electronic energy in all directions simultaneously, continuously providing search, detection and tracking capability for hundreds of targets simultaneously. Using the SPY-1D and her Missile Fire Control System, MASON can simultaneously fire missiles from its vertical Launching System against air, surface, sub-surface and land targets. MASON is also equipped with Cooperative Engagement Capability.
- MASON is armed with Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), MK-46/50 over the side torpedoes, Vertically Launched ASROC, Tomahawks and Standard Missiles. MASON is also armed with the MK 45 MOD 3 5”/62 Caliber gun. The gun enables MASON to provide long range Naval Surface Fire Support. It is capable of firing different ammunition types, to include the Extended Range Guided Munitions (ERGM) round.
- Propelled by four quick-response General Electric LM2500 Gas Turbine Engines couple with two Controllable Pitch Propellers (CRP), MASON has tremendous maneuverability and a top speed in excess of 32 knots. Three Allison 501 Gas Turbine Generators provide the electricity to power the ship. MASON creates potable water through two Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Plants which can produce 24,000 gallons of fresh water per day.
- USS MASON is part of the United States Atlantic Fleet, assigned to Commander Destroyer Squadron Two. MASON is home ported in Norfolk, Virginia.