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Navy destroyer USS Paul Ignatius to be commissioned on Saturday

By Ed Adamczyk

July 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's newest guided missile destroyer, the USS Paul Ignatius, will be commissioned Saturday at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The 500-foot long Arleigh Burke-class destroyer took four years and $2.2 billion to build. It is the Navy's 67th in the class of ship, and one of 21 currently under contract for construction.

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"It can do multi-faceted warfare areas anywhere from air to subsurface to surface," Commander Robby Trotter told WFOR-TV.

The ship, named after Paul Ignatius, a World War II veteran who served as Secretary of the Navy in President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration, is Trotter's first command.

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The Paul Ignatius was designed in the Flight IIA configuration -- which includes elements of the under development Flight III Arleigh Burke vessels -- to include rapid reaction time, high firepower and improved electronic warfare capabilities.

The vessel was christened in April 2017, and delivered to the Navy this year in late February.

Richard V. Spencer, current Secretary of the Navy and acting Deputy Secretary of Defense, will deliver the commissioning ceremony's principal address on Saturday. Dr. Elisa Ignatius, a granddaughter of Ignatius, will serve as the ship sponsor representative in lieu of Ignatius' wife Nancy, who died earlier this year.

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"The future USS Paul Ignatius stands as proof of what the teamwork of all our people -- civilian, contractor and military -- can accomplish together," Spencer said Wednesday in a press release. "From the start of the acquisition process, to the keel laying and christening, to today's commissioning and the many missions she will fulfill going forward, this destroyer enhances our capabilities for air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense."

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