General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW) held a steel-cutting ceremony on November 9 to mark the official start of construction of the future USS Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127).
The milestone was marked with a ceremony held in the shipyard’s fabrication shop during which US Senator Susan Collins made the initial cut to the first plate of steel for the ship. The ceremony was attended by BIW shipyard workers and Navy representatives.
The ship will honor Lance Cpl. Patrick Gallagher, Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Navy Cross recipient. 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.
“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.”
DDG 127 will be the last Flight IIA configuration destroyer built by BIW. The ship will incorporate the AEGIS Baseline 9 combat system which includes integrated air and missile defense capability. This system delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased electronic countermeasures capability for anti-air warfare.
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 ships as part of the Navy’s FY18-22 multiyear procurement.