U.S. Navy - USS Hopper (DDG 70) is commissioned

Navy commissions USS Hopper (DDG 70)
in San Francisco

The guided missile destroyer Hopper (DDG 70) will be commissioned in San Francisco, Calif., during an 11 a.m. ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 6, 1997.

The ship is named for Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, whose pioneering spirit in the field of computer technology led the Navy into the age of computers. During her career, she was know as the "Grand Lady of Software," "Amazing Grace" and "Grandma Cobol" after co-inventing COBOL (common business-oriented language). COBOL made it possible for computers to respond to words instead of just numbers, thus enabling computers to "talk to each other."

Rear Adm. Hopper retired from the Naval Reserve in January 1967, but was recalled to active duty in August 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson because of her much-needed expertise in applied computer science. Rear Adm. Hopper retired a second time in August 1986. She passed away on Jan. 1, 1992. This is the first time since World War II, and only the second time in Naval history, that a warship has been named for a woman from the Navy's own ranks.

Hopper is the 20th of 38 Arleigh Burke-class ships authorized by Congress. These multi-mission ships are equipped with the Navy's Aegis combat weapons system, which combines space-age communication, radar and weapons technologies in a single platform for unlimited flexibility while operating "Forward... From the Sea." These new destroyers will replace older, less capable ships being taken out of service as the Navy reduces spending while maintaining quality as part of its overall plan to modernize the fleet.

Arleigh Burke-class ships are extremely versatile and are designed to operate independently as a multi-threat offensive platform or in support of aircraft carrier and amphibious operations.

The ship is equipped to carry Tomahawk cruise missiles and Standard surface-to-air missiles launched from forward and aft vertical launching systems, two fully automated radar controlled Phalanx close-in weapon systems, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, two triple torpedo tubes, one five-inch gun and electronic warfare systems.

Sen. Barbara Boxer of California will be the ceremony's principal speaker. The ship's sponsor is Mrs. Mary Murray Westcote, sister of the ship's namesake, who will give the traditional order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"

Hopper will join the U.S. Pacific Fleet, with Cmdr. Thomas D. Crowley, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., as Commanding Officer. The ship will be homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hi., with a ship's crew of 23 officers, 24 Chief Petty Officers, and 302 Sailors. Hopper was built at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Me., and is 505 feet in length, has a beam of 67 feet and displaces approximately 8,500 tons fully loaded. Four gas turbines engines power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.


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