The US Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided-missile destroyer, Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) is to be commissioned at Flynn Cruiseport in Boston, Massachusetts. The commissioning ceremony for the destroyer Thomas Hudner was held Saturday in Boston. The U.S. Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is being named in honor of Thomas Hudner, a Fall River native and longtime Concord resident who was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman for crash-landing his plane to try and save the life of Ensign Jesse Brown during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in December 1950.
The USS Thomas Hudner is the 66th Arleigh Burke-class vessel and the 36th DDG 51-class destroyer constructed by General Dynamics subsidiary Bath Iron Works (BIW). The $663 million contract to build her was awarded on 28 February 2012 to Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine. Construction on the vessel started on 16 November 2015 and it was christened on 1 April 2017 during a ceremony at BIW shipyard. Launched on 23 April 2017, the 513ft-long destroyer is equipped with a number of weapons, including integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) capabilities. Following commissioning with the US Navy on 1 December, the destroyer will sail to its homeport at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
As an Arleigh Burke-class ship, Thomas Hudner’s roles included anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, and anti-surface warfare, as well as strike operations. Thomas Hudner is to be a “Technology Insertion” ship with elements of the next generation of Arleigh Burke class destroyers, called Flight III, and Flight III proper is planned to start with DDG-124. In 2008, the U.S. Navy decided to restart production of the Arleigh Burke class as orders for the Zumwalt-class destroyer were reduced from ten to three. The first three ships (DDG-113—DDG-115) ordered following the product decision are known as the “restart” ships, while “technology insertion” ships (DDG-116—DDG-123) are expected to incorporate certain elements of Arleigh Burke class Flight III, which in turn is planned to run from DDG-124 onwards.