The U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced that a future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be named in honor of late U.S. Senator and Navy veteran Richard Lugar.
I am honored to name a future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer after Senator Richard G. Lugar, who dedicated his life to his country, first through service in the U.S. Navy then through service in Congress. pic.twitter.com/pv04hvJISu
— SECNAV76 (@secnav76) November 14, 2019
Richard Green Lugar served in the Navy 1957-1960 and represented Indiana in the Senate for 36 years. He died on April 28.
“Senator Lugar dedicated his life to his country, first through service in the U.S. Navy then through service in Congress,” Spencer said. “I am honored to name a future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer after him. It is fitting this class of ship should bear Senator Lugar’s name, just as he served under Admiral Burke in life. This ship and her crew will continue his legacy of service, safeguarding the safety and security of America and her allies all over the world.”
Lugar attended Officer Candidate School in Rhode Island, with follow-on training in Florida, before serving as an intelligence briefer for Adm. Arleigh Burke, the chief of naval operations (CNO) at the time. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade.
As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Lugar was a co-creator of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which provided funding and expertise to secure and dismantle nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and delivery systems around the world. In recent years, funding provided through the program has focused on export and border control programs and on the detection of radiological weapons.
In 2013, Lugar was awarded the presidential medal of freedom.
The secretary of the Navy has sole authority to name Navy vessels. Guided-missile destroyers are currently named to honor members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard; former secretaries and assistant secretaries of the Navy; and members of Congress closely identified with naval affairs.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis response to sea control and power projection.
The future USS Richard Lugar will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and are equipped with a combination of offensive and defensive weapon systems to support maritime warfare, including integrated air and missile defense and vertical launch capabilities.
The ships are 509 feet long, have a beam of 59 feet and be capable of operating in excess of 30 knots.
The Arleigh Burke-class vessels are being constructed at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (GDBIW) in Bath, Maine and Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.