PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The Navy's most advance surface combatant to help defend our country is now under construction at Ingalls Shipyard. A keel authentication ceremony was held Monday to celebrate the construction of DDG 113 Destroyer.
Patriotic flags covered the front of the Navy's future Ingalls built ship that will help keep our seas safe.
"Seeing the men and women of Ingalls building this ship, they are doing a great job," Navy DDG 51 Program Manager, Captain Mark Vandroff said.
The DDG Destroyer is the backbone of the Navy surface fleet. Ingalls is one of only two builders in the country.
"This is the first DDG we have started fabrication since the 110 and that's been about five years ago. We just won the contract for five more," Ingalls Shipbuilding President Irwin Edenzon said.
The DDG 113 is around 20 percent complete and the keel has also been laid. Monday's ceremony helped mark the significant milestone, and the ship's sponsor also got the chance to initial her signature on a plate to be attached to the Navy vessel forever.
"It is such an important United States asset. I want to stay really connected with it and those who are building it, which is so important," Ship Sponsor Laura Stavridis said.
Once Ingalls builds the Navy Destroyer, the ship will have the most modern technological advances, as well as, multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities.
"This ship does a multitude of missions for the Navy. It does air defense, surface defense and subsurface defense. In fact, we had four Ingalls built destroyers of this type off the coast of Syria during this last confrontation. So, we are proud of these ships and they serve all over the world and they do all types of missions," said Edenzon.
This ship is expected to be delivered to the Navy in 2016. The ship will name in honor of Lieutenant John Finn. Finn was the first World War II Medal of Honor recipient. He died at 100-years-old.