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Future USS Daniel Inouye heads to sea for builder trials

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2008
                                U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii during a ceremony commemorating the 67th anniversary of the Japanese attack.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2008

    U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii during a ceremony commemorating the 67th anniversary of the Japanese attack.

BATH, Maine >> For the first time in two years, a destroyer built at Bath Iron Works headed to sea on Wednesday to begin builder trials.

The future USS Daniel Inouye headed down the Kennebec River to the open ocean with protocols in place to keep workers safe during the pandemic.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer will be equipped with the latest Aegis radar system that allows it to simultaneously track and engage ballistic missiles along with conventional missiles and aircraft.

The ship is named in honor of the late U.S. senator from Hawaii, who died in 2012. Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Italy in World War II.

The shipyard has been dealing with shipbuilding delays that were exacerbated by the pandemic and a two-month strike over the summer. The Thomas Hudner was the last previous ship to head to sea in 2018.

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