The future USS Frank E. Petersen, slated to become the U.S. Navy’s 71st Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, will be christened on Saturday at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
The nearly 9.5K-ton guided-missile destroyer will receive a Flight IIA configuration designed for power projection, forward presence and escort operations for open-ocean conflicts as well as low-intensity conflict/coastal and littoral offshore warfare missions, the Defense Department said Wednesday.
The 509.5-foot Frank E. Petersen has a 59-foot waterline beam, a 31-foot navigational draft and four gas turbine engines that enable the ship to reach speeds exceeding 30 knots.
The ship will additionally contain the Aegis Combat System and Cooperative Engagement Capability that will allow ships and aircraft to coordinate radars to expand the theater space and refine battlespace visualization operations.
Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer said the vessel will serve as a reminder of Lt. Gen. Petersen’s service to the Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.
Petersen is the first African-American aviator for the Marine Corps as well as the first African-American to be promoted to brigadier general at the service branch.
The future USS Frank E. Petersen is the fifth of 21 ships covered by the DDG 51 program.