PASCAGOULA, Miss., April 4, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today delivered its newest warship, Mustin (DDG 89), to the U.S. Navy. The latest ship is the 18th Aegis-guided missile destroyer built by the company's Ship Systems sector.
"This occasion is particularly poignant because this great Aegis destroyer, Mustin, will enter into service at a time when her country needs her most," said Bob Merchent, DDG 51 program vice president. "These men and women have delivered incredible quality in the Aegis destroyer program for a quarter century here in Pascagoula. Mustin is no different."
Representing the Navy was Capt. Phil Johnson, USN, supervisor of shipbuilding, conversion and repair, Pascagoula.
"In December 2002, we took the ship out on sea trials. It was a fabulous trial," Johnson said. "That trial was extremely successful and is a testimony to the fine craftsmanship and the teamwork between the government and Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. She's a sound vessel, well constructed and ready."
Mustin's construction continues Ship Systems' trend of early delivery for Aegis-equipped surface combatants, both destroyers and cruisers. Mustin was delivered nearly two months ahead of schedule. To date, the Aegis shipbuilding program has delivered these ships a combined 190 weeks ahead of schedule.
Mustin is the 39th ship in the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class of Aegis-guided missile destroyers, the Navy's most powerful destroyer fleet. Following DDG 89, Northrop Grumman has 10 additional Aegis destroyers under contract, with six of those at varying stages of construction throughout the Ingalls Operations shipyard.
These highly capable, multimission ships can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection.
In naming DDG 89 Mustin, the Navy honors for the second time the legacy of the four Mustin family members who were Naval officers. The family's seafaring legacy spans three generations, starting in 1896. Cmdr. Ann Claire Phillips, USN, a native of Annapolis, Md., is the ship's commissioning commanding officer. Mustin will depart Pascagoula in July 2003. She will join the U.S. Pacific Fleet during commissioning ceremonies July 26, 2003, in San Diego, Calif.
"The day we have been waiting for has finally arrived," Phillips said. "She's finally ours. All we have to do is do our best and uphold the spirit of the Mustin family and we will be the best."
Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems sector includes primary operations in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.; New Orleans and Tallulah, La.; as well as a network of fleet support offices in the U.S. and Japan. The sector, which currently employs more than 18,000 shipbuilding professionals, primarily in Mississippi and Louisiana, is one of the nation's leading full service systems companies for the design, engineering, construction, and life cycle support of major surface ships for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international navies, and for commercial vessels of all types.
CONTACT: Jim McIngvale Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (228) 935-3971