General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (GDBIW) has begun fabrication of the US Navy’s Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the future USS Quentin Walsh (DDG 132).

The fabrication commencement event was celebrated at GDBIW’s Structural Fabrication Facility in East Brunswick, in the US state of Maine.

The future USS Quentin Walsh has the ability to wage air, surface, and subsurface battles simultaneously.

It is the 44th ship of its class being built at BIW. The vessel is also the third Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyer to have started construction at BIW.

US Navy Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships DDG 51 programme manager captain Seth Miller said: “We are engaged in a long-term competition and the future USS Quentin Walsh will provide the strategic capabilities needed to support the fleet for decades to come.

“Capt Walsh provided selfless service to his country and this warship will help to continue his honourable legacy.”

The DDG 132 has been named in honour of US Coast Guard officer Quentin Walsh. He was awarded the Navy Cross medal in recognition of his service during World War II.

In December 2018, the US Navy awarded a contract to GDBIW for the construction of the DDG 132.

The destroyer will be equipped with the AN/SPY-6(V)1 air and missile defence radar, as well as offensive and defensive weapon systems to support maritime warfare. This includes capabilities such as integrated air and missile defence and vertical launch.

It will also feature updated electrical power and cooling capacity and other related changes for improved warfighting capability.

Bath Iron Works president Dirk Lesko said: “Initiating construction of a state-of-the-art ship for our navy customer is a major event in the shipyard and we are committed to building a ship of exceptional quality at every stage of the production process.

“Our workforce has shown remarkable resilience over the past 18 months and is clearly up to the challenge.”

Other DDG 51 destroyers currently under construction at BIW are DDG 120, DDG 122, DDG 124, DDG 126, DDG 127 and DDG 130.