Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has begun fabrication of the US Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) destroyer Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129).

The fabrication work was officially started on 7 January and represents the cutting of 100 tonnes of steel.

Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said: “The start of fabrication for one of the US Navy’s most critical assets is always a significant milestone for our shipbuilders.

“We look forward to leveraging our unparalleled shipbuilding expertise to construct the nation’s newest, most capable destroyer.”

The destroyer was named in honour of former US Senator Jeremiah Denton (USN), a Vietnam War veteran and prisoner of war, who was a recipient of the Navy Cross.

So far, HII has delivered 32 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the US Navy.

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Frank E Peterson Jr (DDG 121), Lenah H Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), Jack H Lucas (DDG 125) and Ted Stevens (DDG 128) are the other Arleigh Burke-class destroyers that are currently under construction.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission ships that can conduct diverse operations, including peacetime missions, crisis management, sea control and power projection.

They are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles.

HII noted that the ship features ‘myriad offensive and defensive weapons’ that have been designed to support maritime needs.

In May last year, HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division lifted the aft deckhouse onto guided missile destroyer Jack H Lucas (DDG 125) in Pascagoula, Mississippi.