Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division christened its 31st Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117), with approximately 1,000 guest in attendance at Saturday’s ceremony, April 08, 2017.
«These Arleigh Burke destroyers provide our leaders with the ability to conduct a wide range of missions», said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson. «That kind of flexibility is increasingly important in the world of maritime competition. … USS Ignatius and her crew will be doing the nation’s work, providing credible options to our nation’s leaders for decades to come. They’ll be respected always, welcome news to our friends and a worst nightmare to our enemies. Our body, the ship, is tough, built with the best materials in the hands of the best shipbuilders and manned by the best crew America can produce».
USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) is named in honor of Paul Ignatius, who served as the United States’ 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 was in attendance for today’s ceremony.
«I want to express my appreciation to the men and women of one of the world’s best – if not the best shipyard – here at Huntington Ingalls, whose ships, as their motto proudly proclaims, are built stronger than steel», Ignatius said. «One of the great strengths of our country is the industrial might that builds ships, tanks and airplanes that ensured victory in World War II and that continue to undergird our efforts to maintain stability amid the new threats that face us».
Nancy W. Ignatius, his wife, is the ship’s sponsor and officially christened the ship after successfully breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across its bow. Paul and Nancy Ignatius have been married nearly 70 years and have four children together. They were escorted to the platform by Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias.
«Ingalls ships are built with one goal in mind: to protect the brave men and women who protect our freedom», Cuccias said. «Working closely with our Navy partner, we continue to improve on each ship we build. And the Paul Ignatius will be no exception. Today, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in modernizing our facilities alongside our partners, the leadership of the great state of Mississippi. Combine that with a hot production line and our talented and experienced shipbuilders, and we are uniquely positioned to provide our country with the highest quality, most capable destroyers in the fleet. Simply stated, Ingalls builds the finest, most capable warships the world has ever known … right here in Pascagoula, Mississippi».
Ingalls has delivered 29 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121) and USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123).
«Two days ago, when the United States fired missiles on Syria, the two ships that fired those missiles were made right here at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula», said Philip Gunn, Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives. «So, as you can see, between World War II and as recently as two days ago and every point in between, Ingalls shipyard has been an integral part of providing freedom. Every one of us ought to feel the weight of that, every one of us ought to be grateful for that, and every one of us ought to be proud of what takes place at Ingalls».
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that 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 ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
|Length Overall||510 feet/156 m|
|Beam – Waterline||59 feet/18 m|
|Draft||30.5 feet/9.3 m|
|Displacement – Full Load||9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons|
|Power Plant||4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW|
|Speed||in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h|
|Range||4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h|
|Crew||380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM|
|Surveillance||SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system|
|Electronics/Countermeasures||SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director|
|Aircraft||2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)|
|Armament||2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos|
Christening of Paul Ignatius (DDG-117)
Flight IIA: Restart
|DDG-113 John Finn||HIIIS||03-28-15|
|DDG-114 Ralph Johnson||HIIIS||12-12-15|
|DDG-115 Rafael Peralta||GDBIW||10-31-15|
Flight IIA: Technology Insertion
|DDG-116 Thomas Hudner||GDBIW|
|DDG-117 Paul Ignatius||HIIIS||11-12-16|
|DDG-118 Daniel Inouye||GDBIW|
|DDG-119 Delbert D. Black||HIIIS|
|DDG-120 Carl M. Levin||GDBIW|
|DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr.||HIIIS|
|DDG-122 John Basilone||GDBIW|
|DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee||HIIIS|
|DDG-124 Harvey C. Barnum, Jr.||GDBIW|
|DDG-125 Jack H. Lucas||HIIIS|
|DDG-126 Louis H. Wilson, Jr.||GDBIW|