An Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced May 23 the next Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (DDG) will be named USS Paul Ignatius and USS Daniel Inouye.

Sen. Daniel Inouye (1924-2012)

“As secretary of the Navy it is my privilege to name these ships to honor a respected naval leader and a true American hero,” Mabus said. “For decades to come, the future USS Paul Ignatius and USS Daniel Inouye will represent the United States and enable the building of partnerships and projection of power around the world.”

One destroyer (DDG 117) honors Paul Ignatius, who served as secretary of the Navy from 1967 to 1969 and as assistant secretary of defense under President Lyndon Johnson. The other (DDG 118) is named to honor Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Tuscany, Italy, during World War II and later became a U.S. senator (1963-2012). USS Paul Ignatius and USS Daniel Inouye will be the first naval ships to bear these names.

“Secretary Mabus informed me that he had tried to name a ship after Senator while he was still alive, and knowing Senator, he wanted no part of it,” said Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii). “The Arleigh-Burke Class is considered the strongest, most advanced surface ship in the world, responsible for multiple missions that ensure naval supremacy. This is a fitting tribute to Sen. Inouye, whose own strength and determination inspired so many of us. Our Navy will be proud to have a ship bearing his name deployed throughout the world, continuing to fight and defend us.”

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers conduct a variety of operations from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. They are capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare.

DDG 117 and DDG 118 are part of the DDG 51 multi-year procurement with the contract award to the building yard pending. The ships will be 509 feet long, have a beam length of 59 feet and be capable of operating at speeds in excess of 30 knots.

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