General Dynamics (GD) has started construction on the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127), at Bath Iron Works (BIW) shipyard in Maine.

The start of construction was marked by the initial cut to the first plate of steel for the vessel by US Senator Susan Collins.

DDG 127 has been named to honour the late US Marine Corps (USMC) Vietnam veteran and Navy Cross recipient lance corporal Patrick Gallagher

Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships DDG 51 class programme manager captain Casey Moton said: “It is exciting to commence construction on what will be the 77th ship of the Arleigh Burke-class.

“Not only will this ship continue the legacy of enduring warfighting capability, it will carry with it the strength and courage demonstrated by its namesake.”

“The future USS Patrick Gallagher will be the last Flight IIA configuration destroyer constructed by GD BIW.”

Installed with the Aegis Baseline 9 weapon system, the future USS Patrick Gallagher will be the last Flight IIA configuration destroyer constructed by GD BIW.

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Once operational with the US Navy, the vessel will be deployed to enhance the country’s global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defence. In addition, it is intended to deliver increased capabilities in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, as well as command and control.

Other future Arleigh Burke-class surface vessels currently being built at the BIW facility are Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), Carl M Levin (DDG 120), John Basilone (DDG 122), and Harvey C Barnum Jr (DDG 124).

In March, US Navy Secretary Richard V Spencer announced the name of 509ft-long DDG 127.

The US Navy’s second Zumwalt-class destroyer, the future USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), recently departed BIW shipyard in Bath, Maine, for scheduled commissioning on 26 January next year.