Navy Secretary Names Future Destroyer in Honor of Late Senator

A graphic illustration of the future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Richard G. Lugar. U.S. Navy

WASHINGTON — Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer announced a future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will bear the name of the late Sen. Richard G. Lugar, a Navy veteran, Spencer’s public affairs office said in a release. 

Lugar served in the Navy from 1957 to 1960 and represented Indiana in the U.S. Senate for 36 years. He died April 28. 

“Senator Lugar dedicated his life to his country, first through service in the U.S. Navy then through service in Congress,” Spencer said. “I am honored to name a future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer after him. It is fitting this class of ship should bear Senator Lugar’s name, just as he served under Admiral Burke in life. This ship and her crew will continue his legacy of service, safeguarding the safety and security of America and her allies all over the world.” 

Lugar attended Officer Candidate School in Rhode Island, with follow-on training in Florida, before serving as an intelligence briefer for Adm. Arleigh Burke, who was chief of naval operations at the time. 

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Lugar was a co-creator of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which provided funding and expertise to secure and dismantle nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and delivery systems around the world. In recent years, funding provided through the program has focused on export and border control programs and on the detection of radiological weapons. 

In 2013, Lugar was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

The future USS Richard G. Lugar will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a combination of offensive and defensive weapon systems to support maritime warfare, including integrated air and missile defense and vertical launch capabilities. The ship will be 509 feet long, have a beam of 59 feet and will be capable of operating in excess of 30 knots.