TO BE NAMED IN HONOR OF
President Clinton today announced that the United States Navy will name one of
its newest guided missile destroyers in honor of Sir Winston Churchill, the
British Prime Minister during World War II.
In an appearance today before the British Parliament, President Clinton said,
"I am pleased to announce here, the home of British freedom, that the United
States will name one of the newest and most powerful of its surface ships, a
guided missile destroyer, the United States Ship Winston Churchill.
"When that ship slips down the ways in the final year of this century, its
name will ride the seas as a reminder for the coming century of an indomitable
man who shaped our age, who stood always for freedom, who showed anew the
glorious strength of the human spirit," Clinton said.
Construction of the state-of-the-art warship, hull number DDG-81, will begin
in the spring of 1997, and the Winston Churchill will join the U.S. fleet in
the year 2000.
The Winston Churchill will be the 31st of 32 Arleigh Burke class ships
authorized by Congress to be built. These multi-mission ships are equipped
with the Navy's AEGIS combat weapons system, which combines space-age
communications, radar and weapons technologies in a single platform for
unlimited flexibility while operating "Forward...From the Sea."
These new destroyers are replacing older, less capable ships that are being
taken out of service as the Navy reduces spending while maintaining quality as
part of its overall plan to modernize the fleet. These versatile ships are
designed to operate independently as a multi-threat offensive platform or in
support of aircraft carrier and amphibious operations.