The US Navy has named its future Arleigh Burke-class DDG 134 guided-missile destroyer as USS John E Kilmer in recognition of the contribution of a Medal of Honor recipient to the service.

John E Kilmer enlisted in the navy in 1947 as an apprentice seaman and served as a medical field technician with the Fleet Marine Force.

US Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said: “Hospitalman Kilmer was a hero whose efforts during the Korean War continue to inspire. His dedication to his teammates represents everything good about our integrated naval force.”

He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in June 1953 for his service during the Korean War.

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works will construct the future John E Kilmer at its facility in Bath, Maine.

The company was awarded a multi-year award by the navy in September last year for the construction of four ships. A contract for a fifth ship was awarded in December.

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The 509ft-long DDG 134 will have a beam of 59ft. The DDG 51 destroyer will be capable of operating at a speed of more than 30k.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission combatants that can provide defence against multiple threats, including ballistic missiles.

The ships can be used in support of peacetime presence, crisis response, as well as sea control and power projection.

DDG 134 will provide the navy with the capability to fight air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously. The destroyer will be armed with offensive and defensive weapon systems and deployed to support maritime warfare.