The keel for the future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG-126), a Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, was ceremonially laid at Bath Iron Works, May 16.
The ship is named for Marine Corps Commandant, General Louis Hugh Wilson Jr., a World War II and Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Battle of Guam. Following his service in Vietnam, he served as the 26th Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1975 to 1979.
The contemporary keel laying ceremony represents the joining together of a ship’s major modular components at the land level, and is a significant milestone in the production of a ship. The keel is authenticated with the ship sponsors’ initials etched into a ceremonial keel plate that is later incorporated into the ship. Co-sponsors of DDG-126 are Doctor Susan Rabern and Mrs. Janet Wilson Taylor, General Louis H. Wilson’s first daughter.
The event commemorated the first Flight III ship to be ceremonially laid down at Bath Iron Works.
«We are proud to reach this important milestone in the production of the future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr.», said Captain Seth Miller, DDG-51-class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «This great warship will carry the legacy of General Wilson’s unwavering commitment and service to our country».
The DDG-51 Flight III upgrade is centered on the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar and incorporates upgrades to the electrical power and cooling capacity plus additional associated changes to provide greatly enhanced warfighting capability to the fleet.
Bath Iron Works is currently under contract to build 10 destroyers, and is currently in various stages of construction on the future USS John Basilone (DDG-122), USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG-124), USS Patrick Gallagher (DDG-127), USS William Charette (DDG-130), and USS Quentin Walsh (DDG-132).
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift ships, support ships, boats and craft.
|Length Overall||510 feet/160 m|
|Beam – Waterline||66 feet/20 m|
|Draft||30.5 feet/9.3 m|
|Displacement – Full Load||9,700 tons|
|Power Plant||4 General Electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW|
|Speed||in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h|
|Range||4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h|
|Crew||380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM|
|Surveillance||AN/SPY-6 AESA 3D radar (Raytheon Company) and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V)12 Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system|
|Electronics/Countermeasures||SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director|
|Aircraft||2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)|
|Armament||2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 96 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/62 Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46, Mark-50 ASW torpedos or Mark 54 Lightweight Torpedo|
Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup
|DDG-125 Jack H. Lucas||HIIIS||06-04-21||San Diego, California|
|DDG-126 Louis H. Wilson, Jr.||GDBIW|
|DDG-128 Ted Stevens||HIIIS|
|DDG-129 Jeremiah Denton||HIIIS|
|DDG-130 William Charette||GDBIW|
|DDG-131 George M. Neal||HIIIS|
|DDG-132 Quentin Walsh||GDBIW|
|DDG-133 Sam Nunn||HIIIS|
|DDG-134 John E. Kilmer||GDBIW|
|DDG-135 Thad Cochran||HIIIS|
|DDG-136 Richard G. Lugar||GDBIW|
|DDG-137 John F. Lehman||HIIIS|
|DDG-139 Telesforo Trinidad||HIIIS|
|DDG-140 Thomas G. Kelley|