The US Navy has christened its newest guided-missile destroyer the future USS Thomas Hudner in a ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.
The vessel has been named after naval aviator 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.
Thomas Hudner will be the 66th Arleigh Burke Class destroyer, the fourth of 14 ships currently under contract for the DDG 51 programme.
The DDG 51 class provides advanced combat capability and survivability characteristics while minimising procurement and lifetime support costs due to the programme’s maturity.
DDG 51 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. DDG 113 and follow-on DDGs are being built with Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability.
The 9200 ton Thomas Hudner 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.
The Honorable Sean Stackley, Acting Secretary of the US Navy, said: “This ceremony not only honuors 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.”
CAPTION: Medal of Honor recipient retired US Navy Captain Thomas Hudner Jr has had a US Navy destroyer named after him
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