Northrop Grumman Delivers 17th Aegis Destroyer

Tuesday, August 13, 2002
Northrop Grumman Corporation Monday delivered to the U.S. Navy its newest warship, Preble (DDG 88). The new vessel is the 17th Aegis guided missile destroyer built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Pascagoula, Miss. Ship Systems Vice President Bob Merchent called the new ship "a world-class surface combatant, a fine destroyer that will, wherever she may sail, represent leadership and courage." Merchent said the Aegis program is "the backbone of our business success. Our shipbuilders take enormous pride in each and every new ship that is brought to life to ensure that ships like Preble are built with the highest quality and at the lowest possible cost." "I thank Northrop Grumman Ship Systems for such a wonderful job in the construction of Preble," said Capt. Phil Johnson, USN, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, Pascagoula. "Preble represents the most complete ship, the finest ship I have seen in my tour here or in my tour in the program office, a wonderful vessel, the best that this nation can offer." Preble is the 38th ship in the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class of Aegis guided missile destroyers, the Navy's most powerful destroyer fleet. Following DDG 88, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems has seven additional Aegis destroyers under contract, with six of these ships under construction. These highly-capable, multimission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, in support of the national military strategy. In naming DDG 88 "Preble," the Navy for the sixth time honors Cmdr. Edward Preble, (1761-1807), a pioneer in U.S. naval and merchant marine service. Cmdr. Timothy Batzler, USN, a native of Baltimore, Md., and a 1983 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is the new ship's commissioning commanding officer. Preble will depart from Pascagoula in October. She will join the U.S. Pacific Fleet during commissioning ceremonies Nov. 9, 2002, in Boston, Mass. DDG 88 will be homeported in San Diego, Calif.
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