PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of workers at Ingalls Shipbuilding spent the past two weekends launching the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer Paul Ignatius (DDG 117).
The first phase of the launch includes using a rail car system to transport the ship to a staging area near a floating dry dock. During the second phase, the ship is loaded onto the dry dock, floated out to a 75-foot channel, and the dry dock is ballasted to allow the ship to float.
The ship is named in honor of Paul Ignatius, who served as Secretary of the Navy from 1967 to 1969 and Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Lyndon Johnson administration.
Ingalls has delivered 28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy, and there are currently four more under construction at the shipyard. Construction on another is scheduled to begin in 2017.
"For 30 years, our talented shipbuilders have been building these much-needed, quality destroyers," said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. "Launching DDG 117 is an important milestone in the life of the ship, which will continue building toward fleet readiness in 2018."