In Pascagoula Mississippi on 15 December, 2023, HII authenticated the keel of the George M. Neal guided missile destroyer, the fourth Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be constructed at Ingals, and the 81st of its class, dues to be
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission ships designed for a variety of operations including peacetime presence and crisis management, as well as sea control and power projection. A DDG is 155.1 metres (m) long with a 20.1m beam, and weights 9,300 tons, with a crew of 350. Work began on fabrication at HII 2 December, and is expected total 4 years to complete.
A DDG Aegis guided missile destroyer is equipped with 2 MK 41 vertical launching systems, a 5-inch gun turret, and 2 MK 32 triple barrel torpedo mounts.
The George M. Neal incorporates a design modifications that HII claim provides a ‘significant enhanced capability’ including the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) and the Aegis Baseline 10 Combat System.
“Laying the keel of another Flight III DDG is a great way to celebrate the namesake of the ship and our world-class shipbuilders,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding DDG-51 program manager Ben Barnett. “Our ship namesake displayed the kind of courage and leadership that inspires us at Ingalls to have the same dedication to our mission. We are so grateful to our ship sponsor for being a part of the life of this ship and for sharing her family’s legacy with us.”
The George M. Neal is named after a Korean War veteran that was awarded the Navy Cross after attempting to rescue a Marine aviator that had been shot down and trapped. During the rescue attempt, the helicopter Neal a crewman aboard was shot down, and Neal assisted the pilot and the rescued Marine aviator ins evading capture for 9 days before being taken as a prisoner of war.
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