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Maine shipyard prepares to deliver $1.5 billion destroyer to Navy

U.S. Marines, Sailors and guests honor the American and Navy flag during the USS Rafael Peralta christening ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, Oct. 31, 2015. The destroyer was named after Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta who was killed during the second battle of Fallujah in 2004.

GABRIELA GARCIA/U.S. MARINE CORPS

By BETH BROGAN | The Bangor Daily News (Tribune News Service) | Published: January 5, 2017

BATH, Maine — The future USS Rafael Peralta, the first Bath Iron Works-built Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to take to the sea since the class was restarted by the U.S. Navy, successfully completed sea trials and will soon join the Navy fleet.

The DDG 115 “looked great and performed well,” new BIW President Dirk Lesko said in a release. “It’s a ship Bath Iron Works can be proud of.”

The $1.5 billion destroyer was christened Oct. 31, 2015, and launched the following day.

The destroyer completed “alpha trials,” to test its hull, mechanical and electrical systems, in October 2016, according to an internal memo circulated at BIW and obtained by the Bangor Daily News.

The Navy will take delivery of the destroyer in February, with the DDG 115 scheduled to leave the shipyard in the spring, according to the release.

The DDG 115 was named for U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who was killed in the Battle of Fallujah and posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for heroism.

Peralta, 25, of San Diego was killed in November 2004 while he and other Marines were clearing houses of insurgents. As the insurgents fled, one tossed a grenade that landed next to Peralta, who reached out and pulled the grenade to his body. He absorbed the blast, shielding his fellow Marines who were only feet away.

The DDG 115 is the first Arleigh Burke-class destroyer built by BIW since the Navy restarted the class after a four-year break. The last Arleigh Burke built at BIW, the USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), was delivered to the Navy in September 2012.

Three other DDG 51 destroyers, the future USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), the future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) and the future USS Carl M. Levin (DDG 120), are under construction at the shipyard, along with the final two DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers, the future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001) and the future USS President Lyndon B. Johnson.

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©2017 the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine)
Visit the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine) at www.bangordailynews.com
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