General Dynamics Bath Iron Works Lays Keel of Future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG 126)

Ship will be BIW’s first Flight III Arleigh-Burke-class destroyer

BATH, Maine – General Dynamics Bath Iron Works celebrated the keel laying of the future USS Louis H. Wilson (DDG 126) today. The U.S. Navy named the ship in honor of Marine Corps Gen. Louis H. Wilson Jr., a Medal of Honor recipient who also served as commandant of the Marine Corps.  Gen. Wilson served during World War II and received the Medal of Honor for his leadership and valor at the Battle of Guam. The ship’s sponsors are the Hon. Susan J. Rabern, Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired) and Janet Wilson Taylor, Gen. Wilson’s daughter.

Dr. Rabern and Ms. Taylor authenticated the keel by striking welding arcs onto a steel plate that will be incorporated into the ship. They were assisted by Eric Chase, a specialist welder and work leader with 13 years of experience at BIW, currently supporting Main Engine Room #1 of DDG 126. Attending the ceremony were Navy personnel and BIW shipbuilders. The laying of the keel and its authentication signifies the start of hull integration and the pre-cursor to final integration, launch and sea trials.

The future USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. is the first Flight III Arleigh Burke destroyer to be built at Bath Iron Works. The Flight III configuration includes the AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar providing greatly enhanced warfighting capability to the fleet.

“The skill and hard work of our shipbuilding team are making DDG 126 a ship we can be proud to say is Bath built,” said BIW President Chuck Krugh. “When it sails down the Kennebec River, this ship will be ready to carry out its mission of protecting our nation and our families just as its namesake, Louis H. Wilson Jr., did throughout his distinguished career.”

General Dynamics is a global aerospace and defense company that offers a broad portfolio of products and services in business aviation; ship construction and repair; land combat vehicles, weapons systems and munitions; and technology products and services. General Dynamics employs more than 100,000 people worldwide and generated $39.4 billion in revenue in 2022. More information about General Dynamics Bath Iron Works can be found at More information about General Dynamics is available at