Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel today on the Aegis guided missile destroyer, Paul Ignatius. Paul Ignatius represents the 31st ship in the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class of destroyers that HII is building for the US Navy and epitomizes the leadership and agility that has propelled our nation forward.
Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said:
"The keel authentication is an important milestone in a ship's life and it's really a foundation upon which the ship is made, I couldn't think of a better namesake for DDG 117. Over the coming years as we build this great ship, our shipbuilders know what we do is important. We are building great ships to defend our nation, to protect the brave men and women who will serve on this ship and come back safely home to their families.
“It is a pleasure for me to be here with Huntington Ingalls officials and the men and women who are building DDG 117,”said namesake Paul Ignatius, former Secretary of the Navy.
“DDG 117 will become part of our country's proud destroyer tradition. Built tougher than steel by one of America’s leading shipbuilders, constructed by dedicated and skilled shipyard technicians and manned eventually by the world’s finest naval officers and seamen, this new ship will sail for many decades into the future.
Nancy Ignatius, Paul's wife, is the ship sponsor and was also present at the ceremony. DDG 117 is named in honor of Ignatius, who served as Secretary of the Navy from 1967 to 1969 and was the Assistant Secretary of Defense during President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration. To date, Ingalls has delivered 28 DDG 51 destroyers to the U.S. Navy. These highly capable, multi-mission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States military strategy. DDGs are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ships contain myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century. DDG 51 and DDG 1000 destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups.
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