Ralph Johnson

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, the future USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), during a 10:00 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, March 24, at Columbus Street Pier in Charleston, South Carolina.

Navy commissioned new guided-missile destroyer Ralph Johnson
Navy commissioned new guided-missile destroyer Ralph Johnson

The future USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) honors Marine Corps Private first class Ralph Henry Johnson, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his «conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity» during the Vietnam War. On March 5, 1968, in an observation post overlooking the Quan Duc Valley, Johnson used his body to shield fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly. The Charleston native had only been in Vietnam for two months when he was killed at the age of 19.

General Robert Neller, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Mrs. Georgeann McRaven, wife of retired Admiral Bill McRaven, served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!

«The future USS Ralph Johnson will become one of the most capable weapons in our nation’s arsenal», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «It will serve for decades to come as a fitting tribute to the heroic actions of Private first class Ralph Johnson who, in the face of certain death, sacrificed his own life to save the life of a fellow Marine».

USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), the 65th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be commissioned, will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Ralph Johnson will be capable of engaging in air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare, including Integrated Air and Missile Defense capabilities.

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,140 tons/9,286 metric 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 SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) 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 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup

 

Flight IIA: Restart

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-113 John Finn HIIIS 03-28-15 07-15-17 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
DDG-114 Ralph Johnson HIIIS 12-12-15 03-24-18 Everett, Washington
DDG-115 Rafael Peralta GDBIW 10-31-15 07-29-17 San Diego, California