General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) has started fabrication of the U.S. Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127), during a ceremony at its shipyard in Bath, Maine on Nov. 9.
The ceremony was attended by Sen. Susan Collins and she initiated the ceremonial first cut of steel on the vessel. The ceremony was also attended by BIW shipyard workers and Navy representatives.
“It is exciting to commence construction on what will be the 77th ship of the Arleigh Burke class” said Capt. Casey Moton, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “Not only will this ship continue the legacy of enduring warfighting capability, it will carry with it the strength and courage demonstrated by its namesake.”
The ship is named after Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Navy Cross recipient Lance Cpl. Patrick Gallagher. In 1966, Gallagher, who immigrated from Ballyhaunis, Ireland in 1962, joined the Marine Corps where he served in H-Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division during Operation Hastings in the Republic of Vietnam.
Gallagher was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on July 18, 1966, when he selflessly threw his body on an incoming grenade, shielding his fellow Marines. He quickly pitched the grenade to a nearby river where it safely exploded out of harm’s way, without injury to himself or others. Gallagher was killed in action one year later in DaLoc near De Nang on March 30, 1967. He is one of only 30 known Irish citizens to have died in the Vietnam conflict.
USS Gallagher (DDG 127) is an Arleigh Burke Flight IIA TI (Technology Insertion) destroyer and will be the 77th overall for the class. DDG 127 will be the last Flight IIA configuration destroyer built by BIW.
Gallagher will incorporate the AEGIS Baseline 9 Combat System which includes Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability. This system delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased electronic countermeasures capability for Anti-Air Warfare (AAW).
Arleigh-Burke class destroyers conduct a variety of operations from peacetime presence and crisis response to sea control and power projection. The future USS Gallagher (DDG 127) will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously, and will contain a combination of offensive and defensive weapon systems designed to support maritime warfare, including integrated air and missile defense and vertical launch capabilities.
The ship will be 509 feet long, have a beam length of 59 feet and be capable of operating at speeds in excess of 30 knots.
BIW is currently in production on the future Arleigh Burke class destroyers Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), Carl M. Levin (DDG 120), John Basilone (DDG 122), and Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124), as well as the Zumwalt class destroyer Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002). BIW was also recently awarded a contract for the construction of four DDG 51 Flight III Arleigh Burke class ships as part of the Navy’s FY18-22 multiyear procurement.