Future USS Thomas Hudner passes builder's trials, moves on to acceptance trials

BATH, Maine. The future USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, successfully completed Builder's Trials in late March after spending four days underway off the coast of Maine.

Builder's Trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow shipbuilder Bath Iron Works and the Navy to assess the ship's systems and estimate its readiness for delivery.

"With the successful completion of these trials, we move closer to adding and her exceptional capabilities to the fleet," said Capt. Casey Moton, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office Ships.  "The Navy and Industry team worked diligently to ensure the ship operates at peak performance."

The class of ships currently being built are Aegis Baseline 9 Integrated Air and Missile Defense destroyers equipped with increased computing power and upgrades that improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern air warfare and ballistic missile defense threats.  The combat system aboard DDG 116 will enable her to link radars with other ships and aircraft to provide a composite picture of the battlespace.

The future USS Thomas Hudner will return to sea later this spring to conduct Acceptance Trials with the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey; Acceptance Trials require inspection and evaluation of all systems and gears to ensure quality and operational readiness before the Navy can accept delivery.

DDG 116 is named in honor of U.S. naval aviator Thomas Hudner, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valiant -- but ultimately unsuccessful -- attempt to save his wingman, Ensign Jesse L. Brown, during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. Brown was the first African-American U.S. Navy officer killed in the Korean conflict.

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