Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has commenced fabrication of the Arleigh Burke­-class vessel (DDG 51) Destroyer Ted Stevens (DDG 128), a move that signifies the first 100t of steel cut.

In January last year, it was announced that the vessel would be named in the honour of the former US Senator Ted Stevens who served as a pilot in World War II and later as a senator representing Alaska.

In 2009, when leaving his office, he was the longest-serving Republican US Senator in history.

Ingalls DDG 51 programme manager George Nungesser said: “As we begin this important milestone in the construction of another great warship, we look forward to continuing production and carrying on the extraordinary legacy of the Navy destroyer fleet.”

HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division has delivered a total of 31 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the US Navy.

Currently, the destroyers under construction are Delbert D Black (DDG 119), Frank E Peterson Jr (DDG 121), Lenah H Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123) and Jack H Lucas (DDG125).

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The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are used to carry out operations ranging from peacetime presence and crisis response to sea control and power projection.

The guided missile destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships. They are capable of conducting diverse operations from peacetime and crisis management to sea control and power projection.

They have been designed to simultaneously engage in air, surface and subsurface combat and contain defensive weapons to support maritime defence needs.