The US Navy has commissioned the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the future USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117).

The commissioning took place on 27 July during a ceremony at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

DDG 117 bears the name of Paul Robert Ignatius, who served in the US Navy during the Second World War and is sponsored by his wife Nancy Ignatius.

Robert Ignatius also served as Assistant Secretary of Defense between 1964-67, and as Navy Secretary during 1967-69.

The vessel is the 67th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

US Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said: “The future USS Paul Ignatius stands as proof of what the teamwork of all our people, civilian, contractor and military, can accomplish together.

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“From the start of the acquisition process to the keel laying and christening to today’s commissioning and the many missions she will fulfil going forward, this destroyer enhances our capabilities for air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defence.”

The future USS Paul Ignatius has the ability to provide rapid reaction time, high firepower and improved electronic warfare capabilities.

The Flight IIA-configured DDG 117 is part of the Navy’s DDG 51 programme. Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works are under contract to construct 21 ships under this programme.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are designed to provide combat capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface environments.

The ships can be deployed to perform missions such as peacetime presence, humanitarian assistance / disaster relief, sea control and power projection.

The navy is moving to the Flight III baseline from DDGs 125-126. The upgrade is centred on the AMDR/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense radar system.