General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (GD BIW) has started construction on the US Navy’s Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The future USS Louis H Wilson Jr (DDG 126) is the first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer being built at GD BIW’s structural fabrication facility in Brunswick, Maine.

Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships DDG 51 class programme manager, Captain Seth Miller said: “This is a tremendous occasion as we mark the start of construction on BIW’s first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

“General Wilson embodied the spirit of our nation in his will to protect his fellow Marines and countrymen. What better way to honour him than to build a highly capable warship that advances our navy’s ability to protect and defend our nation.”

DDG 126 is set to be named in honour of General Louis H Wilson Jr, the 26th commandant of the US Marine Corps and a World War II recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are being designed to conduct anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defence missions. These multi-mission surface combatants will be equipped with enhanced capability and capacity to support Integrated Air and Missile Defense missions.

The ships will also engage in global maritime security, air, undersea, surface, and strike operations, as well as anti-submarine warfare, command and control, and anti-surface warfare.

The company is also building other Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, including Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), Carl M Levin (DDG 120) and John Basilone (DDG 122), Harvey C Barnum Jr (DDG 124), Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127) and Zumwalt class destroyer Lyndon B Johnson (DDG 1002).