Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries delivered the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer Paul Ignatius to the U.S. Navy during a ceremony at its shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
Officials with Ingalls, including those with the shipbuilding division, as well as the Navy, were on hand for the handover on Friday. The destroyer is scheduled to sail from the shipyard in June.
"This event is the culmination of hard work and dedication by thousands of shipbuilders, industry partners from nearly every state, as well as our Navy SUPSHIP Gulf Coast shipmates who worked with us each and every day to ensure DDG117 became a mission-capable ship," George Nungesser, Ingalls' DDG program manager, said in a news release. "It's an honor to be a part of this great tradition."
The future Paul Ignatius, identified as DDG117, is the 31st Arleigh Burke-class destroyer delivered to the Navy. Four more destroyers are under construction, including Jack H. Lucas, the first DDG-51 Flight III vessel, fabrication on which started in May 2018.
The Ignatius completed acceptance trials in December and was christened in 2017, almost a year after its keel was laid down.
DDG117 is named for Paul Ignatius, who served as the 59th secretary of the Navy, from 1967 to 1969. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers can simultaneously fight air, surface and subsurface battles. Missions range "from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States' military strategy," according to HII.
The Pentagon on Thursday, the day before delivery of the Ignatius, awarded a $55.4 contract to BAE Systems for post shakedown work on the USS Thomas Hudner, which includes an option for the same work on the Ignatius.