Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding unit has started construction on its 31st Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, (DDG) USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117).
The latest move marks the beginning of assembling the destroyer with modular construction, where pre-fabricated modules will be built separately and later combined with other units.
Ingalls DDG 51 programme manager George Nungesser said: "The start of fabrication begins to bring the ship to life."
Named in honour of former navy secretary Paul Ignatius, the destroyer will perform a range of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection.
Integrating numerous offensive and defensive weapons for maritime defence requirements for the 21st century, the DDGs are reportedly capable of simultaneously battling air, surface and subsurface battles concurrently.
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers also enable the navy to accomplish the US Department of Defense's strategy.
In addition to Paul Ignatius, the shipbuilder is working on two other destroyers, John Finn (DDG 113) and Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), which are scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Ingalls has delivered 28 DDG 51 destroyers to the US Navy to date.
Image: Construction starts on the USS Paul Ignatius at the Ingalls Shipbuilding unit. Photo: courtesy of Lance Davis / HII.