The U.S. Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) successfully completed builder’s trials on March 31, 2018 after spending four days underway.
Builder’s trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the shipbuilder, Bath Iron Works (BIW), and the Navy to assess the ship’s systems and its readiness for delivery.
“With the successful completion of these trials, we move closer to adding DDG 116 and her exceptional capabilities to the fleet,” said Capt. Casey Moton, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “The Navy and industry team worked diligently to ensure the ship operates at peak performance.”
The DDG 51 class ships currently under construction are Aegis Baseline 9 Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) destroyers, with increased computing power and radar upgrades that improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern air warfare and ballistic missile defense threats. The Aegis Combat System will enable DDG 116 to link radars with other ships and aircraft to provide a composite picture of a battle space. When operational, DDG 116 and her sister ships will serve as integral players in global maritime security.
Future USS Thomas Hudner will return to sea to conduct acceptance trials with the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) later this spring. During acceptance trials, all systems and gears will undergo inspection and evaluation to ensure quality and operational readiness prior to the Navy accepting delivery.
The $663 million contract to build her was awarded on 28 February 2012 to Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine. On 7 May 2012, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the ship name would be Thomas Hudner in honor of U.S. naval aviator Thomas Hudner, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in trying to save the life of his wingman, Ensign Jesse L. Brown, during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War.
Hudner’s keel was laid on 16 November 2015 and she is expected to be commissioned in 2018. Her christening took place on 1 April 2017.
BIW is currently in production on future Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), USS Carl M. Levin (DDG 120) and USS John Basilone (DDG 122), as well as future Zumwalt-class destroyers USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002).
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.