The future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG 126), a Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, had its keel laid at Bath Iron Works on May 16. This event marks the ceremonial beginning of construction for the first Flight III ship at this location.
The ship derives its name from General Louis Hugh Wilson Jr., the Marine Corps Commandant, a veteran of both World War II and the Vietnam War. His bravery during the Battle of Guam earned him the Medal of Honor. Post-Vietnam, he was the 26th Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1975 to 1979.
The DDG 51 Flight III modification features the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar, enhancing the ship’s combat capabilities. Other improvements include upgrading electrical power and cooling capacity, along with other related changes.
Capt. Seth Miller, the DDG 51-class program manager of Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships, expressed pride in reaching this significant milestone in the construction of the future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. He added that the vessel would uphold General Wilson’s legacy of unyielding dedication and service to the nation.
Bath Iron Works currently holds contracts to construct ten destroyers. The shipyard is in varying stages of building the future John Basilone (DDG 122), Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124), Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127), William Charette (DDG 130), and Quentin Walsh (DDG 132).