US Navy to christen first Flight IIA Technology Insertion destroyer

Photo: US Navy

The U.S. Navy announced it would christen its newest guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), on Saturday, April 1, at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.

The future Thomas Hudner is named in honor of naval aviator and Medal of Honor recipient Thomas J. Hudner Jr., the last living Navy recipient of the Medal of Honor to have served in the Korean War.

Hudner was awarded the Medal of Honor for attempting to save the life of his squadron mate, Ensign Jesse L. Brown, in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. This will be the first U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Thomas Hudner.

“This ceremony not only honors a true naval hero but also the dedicated men and women of our nation’s shipbuilding industry, whose skill and diligence have brought this great warship one step closer to joining the fleet,” said The Honorable Sean Stackley, acting secretary of the Navy.

Thomas Hudner will be the 66th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the first Flight IIA Technology Insertion ship and the fourth of 14 ships currently under contract for the DDG 51 program.

The destroyer is equipped with the Aegis baseline 9 combat system, which includes an integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) capability, incorporating the ballistic missile defense 5.0 capability upgrade (BMD 5.0CU) and naval integrated fire control-counter air (NIFC-CA).

The 9,200 ton Thomas Hudner is being built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.

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