PASCAGOULA, Miss. (Aug. 19, 2023) — HII (NYSE: HII) christened today pre-commissioning unit Ted Stevens (DDG 128) at the company’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division.
The ship’s name honors former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, who served as a pilot in World War II and later as a senator representing Alaska. At the time he left office in 2009, he was the longest serving Republican senator in U.S. history.
“From Alaska to Mississippi we are connected as a community of shipbuilders, sailors and servants by both the passion of our shipbuilders, who have brought us to this point in construction, and also by the late Sen. Ted Stevens and his passion for service,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Kari Wilkinson said. “We are grateful to everyone that is part of our community and this mission and especially to the U.S. Navy for entrusting us with doing the work that we do here.”
Honorable Sean O’Keefe, 69th secretary of the Navy, 10th administrator of NASA and former staff member of Sen. Ted Stevens was the keynote speaker.
“To the captain and her crew, lead with courage (the motto of the ship), the courage to be determined, the courage to be diligent and to be focused on mission,” O’Keefe said. “I am supremely confident that the spirit of Ted Stevens will be standing watch with you during the performance of your duties around the globe. This ship has the great good fortune to have three extraordinary co-sponsors who are sure to pass on their admirable qualities and the culture of this amazing instrument of national power.”
Ted Stevens is co-sponsored by the late senator’s wife, Catherine Ann Stevens, and his daughters Susan Stevens Covich and Lily Irene Becker. Together, the three sponsors officially christened the ship.
Becker represented the family by providing remarks and paying tribute to her late farther.
“My family and I pay tribute to the captain and crew,” Becker said. “We know you will be prepared with the best systems and will carry the spirit of Alaska and the determination of Ted Stevens with you. Captain Hays, we know you and your crew will lead with courage.”
Ingalls has delivered 35 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy including the first Flight III, USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), in June of this year. In addition, Ingalls has four Flight IIIs currently under construction including Ted Stevens (DDG 128), Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129), George M. Neal (DDG 131) and Sam Nunn (DDG 133).
Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers built for the U.S. Navy incorporate a number of design modifications that collectively provide significantly enhanced capability. DDG 128 will include the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) and the Aegis Baseline 10 Combat System that is required to keep pace with the threats well into the 21st century. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Guided missile destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. surface fleet and are capable of fighting multiple air, surface and subsurface threats simultaneously.
HII is a global, all-domain defense provider. HII’s mission is to deliver the world’s most powerful ships and all-domain solutions in service of the nation, creating the advantage for our customers to protect peace and freedom around the world.
As the nation’s largest military shipbuilder, and with a more than 135-year history of advancing U.S. national security, HII delivers critical capabilities extending from ships to unmanned systems, cyber, ISR, AI/ML and synthetic training. Headquartered in Virginia, HII’s workforce is 43,000 strong. For more information, visit: