The future USS Thomas Hudner – an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer under construction at Bath Iron Works – has finished a key round of testing prior to the ship’s formal delivery to the U.S. Navy.

The Navy said the Hudner successfully completed “acceptance trials” during pierside and underway demonstrations on May 3. A team from the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey were on board to oversee testing of the ship’s navigation, mechanical, electrical, combat and communications systems – among others – during the acceptance trials.

The inspection and survey team is responsible for recommending when ships should be delivered to the Navy.

“The success of the Bath Iron Works-built future USS Thomas Hudner during acceptance trials is a testament to the continued quality and high performance of our Navy’s destroyers,” said Capt. Casey Moton, program manager of the Arleigh Burke or DDG-51 class ships for the Navy, “The Thomas Hudner is a very capable warfighter that will be a significant asset to the fleet.”

The ship is named for the late Naval Capt. Thomas Hudner Jr., who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his attempts to save a fellow Navy pilot shot down during the Korean War. Hudner crash-landed his own plane on a remote mountainside in order to try to rescue Ensign Jesse Brown – the Navy’s first black aviator – after he observed that Brown was trapped inside his cockpit after being shot down.

The Hudner completed the multi-day “builder’s trials” last month.

One of four DDG-51 ships under construction at BIW, the Hudner is a guided-missile destroyer that is designed as a multi-mission ship capable of attacking targets at sea and on land as well as providing ballistic missile defense. It is the 36th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer built at BIW, which also constructs the stealth Zumwalt-class destroyers.

A Massachusetts native, Hudner attended the christening of his namesake ship at BIW on a snowy day in April 2017 but died last November at age 93. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in April.

The future USS Thomas Hudner is expected to be commissioned by the Navy in Boston this fall.


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