Bath Iron Works Lays Keel for Next Flight III Arleigh Burke Destroyer

General Dynamics segment Bath Iron Works has laid the keel for the US Navy’s future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the USS Louis Wilson Jr. (DDG 126), in Maine.

The vessel is the second of its class in the Flight III configuration that incorporates upgrades to electrical power, cooling capacity, and air and missile defense capabilities.

“We are proud to reach this important milestone in the production of the future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr,” Program Manager Capt. Seth Miller stated.

160830-N-LV331-004WASHINGTON (Aug. 30, 2016) A graphic representation of the future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG 126). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Armando Gonzales/Released)
A graphic representation of the future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG 126). Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Armando Gonzales/US Navy

The DDG 126 is named after a US Marine Corps commandant who served from 1975 to 1979. The veteran received the Medal of Honor for his acts of valor during the Battle of Guam.

“This great warship will carry the legacy of General Wilson’s unwavering commitment and service to our country,” Miller said.

Bath Iron Works is engaged in a $9 billion contract to build 10 Arleigh Burke destroyers, all currently in various stages of development.

Flight III Upgrade

The Flight III modernization focuses on the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar to address air and ballistic missile capability gaps of the US maritime forces.

The radar enables joint battlespace awareness and simultaneous sensor support to counter advanced and future surface warfare threats.

In March, the US Navy awarded Raytheon a $619 million contract to continue supplying the SPY-6 radar to new ships.

The radar’s initial contract was awarded in 2022. It is valued at $3 billion and ordered to install the technology on more than 45 vessels in five years.

The first Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyer, the USS Jack Lucas (DDG 251), was christened last year.

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