The keel has been laid for the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine.

The ceremony marked the beginning of the vessel’s construction phase.

DDG 118 has been named to honour former US Senator Daniel Inouye, who served with the 442nd Infantry Regiment in Italy during World War II.

Inouye represented Hawaii in the US Senate for 50 years.

"DDG 118 has been named to honour former US Senator Daniel Inouye, who served with the 442nd Infantry Regiment in Italy during World War II."

The future USS Daniel Inouye is being developed by Bath Iron Works and will be constructed in the Flight IIA configuration.

It is set to feature the Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, which includes an integrated air and missile defence capability.

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The Aegis Baseline 9 system provides the US Navy destroyer with a fast reaction time, high firepower and an enhanced electronic countermeasures capability for anti-air warfare applications.

The Arleigh Burke-class multi-mission surface combatants primarily engage in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defence operations.

In addition, the vessels offer improved capabilities in anti-submarine warfare, command and control, and anti-surface warfare activities.

General Dynamics subsidiary Bath Iron Works is currently carrying out the development of future destroyers Carl M. Levin (DDG 120), John Basilone (DDG 122) and Harvey C. Barnum (DDG 124).

The company is set to begin building the future USS Harvey C. Barnum later this week, along with the construction of the navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyer Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002).

The 513ft-long DDG 118 vessel features a width of 66ft and a displacement of approximately 9,200t.

It is expected to be capable of sailing at speeds of more than 30k and feature accommodation for a total of 304 crew members.