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General Dynamics christens U.S. Navy's USS Thomas Hudner

By Ryan Maass
General Dynamics christens U.S. Navy's USS Thomas Hudner
The Future USS Thomas Hudner's christening comes almost two years after the vessel's keel was laid down. Pictured, Thomas Hudner's sister ship, USS Winston Churchill. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Taylor N. Stinson

April 5 (UPI) -- General Dynamics Bath Iron Works christened the U.S. Navy's future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner during a ceremony.

The christening took place at Bath Iron Works' shipyard on Saturday, and was attended by the ship's namesake, Capt. Thomas Hudner. During the Korean War, Hudner intentionally crash-landed his plane to save Ensign Jesse Brown, the first African-American Navy pilot.

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Other guests included several lawmakers, U.S. Navy personnel and General Dynamics representatives.

"Our sailors and Marines depend on the tools we give them to perform when put to the test," General Dynamics Bath Iron Works president Dirk Lesko said. "When the future USS Thomas Hudner goes to sea as part of the Navy fleet, it will do so with the fearless spirit of an American hero backed by the promise of Maine's shipbuilders that Bath-built is best-built."

The christening comes almost two after the keel for the vessel was laid down in Bath, Maine. The Navy expects to commission the ship in Boston in 2018.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers are multirole surface ships built to engage threats in all directions. The vessels can be used to support anti-air warfare as well as anti-submarine warfare. They can operate independently or as part of larger groups.

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