Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has christened the US Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA guided missile destroyer Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123).

Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, HII said that the event was conducted with limited members.

The christening event was originally scheduled to occur last year. It was delayed due to the restrictions surrounding the pandemic.

Ingalls Shipbuilding president Kari Wilkinson said: “The christening of Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee is a significant milestone that brings our 34th destroyer one step closer to being introduced into the fleet.

“In these ever-changing times, the significance of what we do has never been more important.”

The destroyer was named in honour of Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee, who was the first woman to receive the Navy Cross.

Louisa Dixon, Virginia Munford and Pickett Wilson, are the sponsors of DDG 123.

Ingalls Shipbuilding Ex-president Brian Cuccias said: “Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee’s distinguished legacy will remain steadfast with the christening of this great ship, as will the unparalleled craftsmanship of the men and women of Ingalls Shipbuilding.”

The 509.5ft-long and 59ft-wide future USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee will be the 73rd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The vessel has a displacement capacity of 9,496t and will be homeported in San Diego. It is one of the 20 ships under the DDG 51 programme that are currently under construction or contract.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission ships that can conduct diverse operations, including peacetime missions, crisis management, sea control and power projection.

They are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles.