US Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer has announced that the next Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be named USS Gallagher (DDG 127).
The name has been selected to honour the Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Navy Cross recipient lance corporal Patrick Gallagher.
Patrick Gallagher emigrated to the US in 1962 from Ballyhaunis, Ireland, and originally joined the US Marine Corps (USMC) in 1966.
During his service, Gallagher served in H-Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division during Operation Hastings in the Republic of Vietnam.
The navy noted that he is one of the 30 known Irish citizens to have died in the Vietnam conflict.
Spencer said: “Lance Corporal Gallagher is an American hero. His exemplary service in defence of our nation, and his strength and sacrifice, leaves an example for all servicemen and women to emulate.
“His legacy will live on in the future USS Gallagher and his heroic actions will continue to inspire future sailors and marines.”
The 509ft-long future USS Gallagher will possess the capability of fighting against air, surface and subsurface threats simultaneously.
It will also be equipped with a combination of offensive and defensive weapon systems.
The weapons are slated to be developed to support maritime warfare operations, including integrated air and missile defence and vertical launch capabilities.
DDG 127 will feature a beam length of 59ft and will operate at speeds of more than 30k.
The vessel is scheduled to be developed at the Maine facility of General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works division.
The US Navy’s Arleigh-Burke-class destroyers are specifically designed to carry out a wide range of missions such as peacetime presence, crisis response, sea control and power projection.