October 29, 2015 - The Navy will christen its newest guided-missile destroyer Rafael Peralta, Saturday, Oct. 31, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine.
The future USS Rafael Peralta, designated DDG 115, honors Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for actions during combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Peralta is credited with saving the lives of fellow Marines during the second battle of Fallujah in 2004.
"The tremendous efforts of the highly-skilled men and women of the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works team have brought this ship from an idea to a reality," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "Their work will ensure that the heroism, service and sacrifice of Marine Corps Sergeant Rafael Peralta will be honored and remembered by all who come in contact with DDG 115 long after this great warship is christened."
General Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Rosa Maria Peralta, Sgt. Peralta’s mother, will serve as ship's sponsor and officially christen the ship Rafael Peralta.
Rafael Peralta is the third of 14 ships currently under contract for the DDG 51 program. The DDG 51 class provides outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics while minimizing procurement and lifetime support costs, due to the program's maturity. DDG 51 destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups. DDG 113 and follow on DDGs are being built with Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability.
The 9,200 ton Rafael Peralta is being built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.