April 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy christened its latest guided-missile destroyer, the Arleigh Burke-class USS Paul Ignatius, during a ceremony on Saturday.
The vessel's christening comes almost a year after its keel was laid down by manufacturer Huntington Ingalls Industries. During construction, it was equipped with an Aegis Combat System and configured as a Flight IIA destroyer.
The configuration incorporates embarked SH-60R helicopters in addition to organic mine hunting capabilities. Flight IIA ships also feature a lengthened hull and reduced metacentric height to accommodate larger air groups.
The ceremony featured Naval Operations Chief Adm. John Richardson as the principal speaker. Nancy Ignatius, the wife of the ship's namesake Paul Ignatius, was in attendance alongside several U.S. defense officials.
"When the future USS Paul Ignatius joins the fleet, it will serve for decades as a reminder of Secretary Ignatius's service to our nation as both a naval officer and as the civilian leader of our Navy and Marine Corps," acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley said in a press release issued ahead of the christening.