Construction begins on US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) destroyer

18 November 2015 (Last Updated November 18th, 2015 18:30)

Construction on the US Navy's future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) has started with a keel laying ceremony held at General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works shipyard, Maine, US.

Construction on the US Navy's future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Thomas Hudner (DDG 116) has started with a keel laying ceremony held at General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works shipyard, Maine, US.

The destroyer, which is the company's 36th Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile, is named in honour of retired US Navy captain Thomas Hudner Jr, a Korean War aviator and Medal of Honor recipient.

Bath Iron Works DDG 51 programme manager Ed Kenyon said: "Over the coming months, we will continue to build the Thomas Hudner with knowledge and expertise honed over the decades.

"Over the coming months, we will continue to build the Thomas Hudner with knowledge and expertise honed over the decades."

"She will be a true and steady vessel, the pride of our Navy."

During the ceremony, the initials were keel laid on the 3,000t, heavily outfitted mid-section of the ship, which contains its main machinery spaces.

Said to be the 'heart' of the destroyer, the unit is nearly a third of the entire ship, and was recently moved from the shipyard's Ultra Hall construction facility onto the building ways.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers feature the Aegis combat system and SPY-1D multi-function phased array radar, and are designed to carry out peacetime operations, crisis management, and sea control activities to enhance US naval capabilities.

Powered by four gas-turbine propulsion plants, the 509ft-long multi-mission combatants have a displacement capacity of 9,500t, can cruise at a speed of 30k and are equipped with advanced sensors, as well as weapons systems to engage anti-ship missile threats.