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Navy to commission new Arleigh Burke destroyer USS Thomas Hudner

The U.S. Navy will commission the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner during a Dec. 1 ceremony in Boston.

By Stephen Carlson

Nov. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy will commission the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner during a Dec. 1 ceremony in Boston, Mass., at 10 a.m.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will deliver the ceremonies principal address with Hudner's widow and the wife of retired Vice Adm. Michael Miller as sponsors, the Navy announced on Wednesday.

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USS Thomas Hudner is named after the naval aviator and Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr., who was awarded the decoration in 1951 for heroism in the Korean War. It will be the first U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Thomas Hudner.

Hudner was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in April.

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"The commissioning of USS Thomas Hudner continues a spirit of faithful service that Thomas Hudner embodied throughout his life, and his legacy will live on in those who serve aboard this ship," Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said in a press release.

The Navy accepted delivery of the vessel in June. It is the 66th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and fourth DDG 51 Flight IIA vessel.

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The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is one of the primary surface combatants of the U.S. fleet. The Aegis system mounted on it is one of the most advanced naval air-defense systems in the world.

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The Arleigh Burke has a vertical launch system that can carry Standard-class surface-to-air missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles, among other weapons. It also has a 5-inch gun for surface and land targets and carries 20mm and 25mm cannons for point defense against missiles, aircraft and fast attack boats.

Many of the vessels can also deploy towed-array sonar to detect and track enemy underwater targets and can carry two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for anti-submarine, surface strike and infiltration and extraction missions.

The SM-3 variant of the Standard on Burke-class destroyers are capable of intercepting ballistic missiles during their terminal descent phase -- is one of the most important parts of the the US ballistic missile defense systems.

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USS Thomas Hudner will be the 66th ship of its class and will be homeported at Naval Station Mayport in Florida.

The Navy plans to stream the commissioning live on it's blog.

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