Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division delivered the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the future USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) to the U.S. Navy, on Feb. 22.
The ceremony was attended by shipbuilders, ship’s force and representatives of Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Gulf Coast. The signing of the DD 250 document officially transfers custody of the ship from HII to the Navy. Paul Ignatius is scheduled to sail away from the shipyard in June.
“This event is the culmination of hard work and dedication by thousands of shipbuilders, industry partners from nearly every state, as well as our Navy SUPSHIP Gulf Coast shipmates who worked with us each and every day to ensure DDG 117 became a mission-capable ship,” said George Nungesser, Ingalls’ DDG program manager. “Today, we deliver DDG 117 to the U.S. Navy—our 31st time to do this with an Aegis destroyer and well over our 80th time to deliver a Navy surface combatant on the banks of the Pascagoula River. It’s an honor to be a part of this great tradition.”
DDG 117 is named in honor of Paul Ignatius, who served as the 59th Secretary of the Navy, from 1967 to 1969. He made significant contributions during the administrations of presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Ignatius is a living namesake and currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Ingalls has now delivered 31 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the Navy. The shipyard currently has four DDGs under construction, including the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), the first Flight III ship, which started fabrication in May 2018.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are capable, multi-mission ships and 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. The guided missile destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.