Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division launched USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), the company’s 30th Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) guided missile destroyer, on December 12. «The last week of translating this quality ship across land and then launching it from our drydock is no small task, and our shipbuilders accomplished it in a very efficient manner», said George Nungesser, Ingalls’ DDG-51 program manager. «All crafts and personnel making up this DDG shipbuilding crew have performed very well, and we were able to launch USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) ahead of schedule. It’s a nice milestone to accomplish as we end the year».
Captain Mark Vandroff, the Navy’s DDG-51 class program manager, added, «This is an exciting milestone and represents a significant amount of effort by our Navy and industry team to get the ship to this point. We’re looking forward to completing outfitting efforts, undergoing test and trials and delivering another highly capable asset to our fleet».
Ingalls has built and delivered 28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. There are currently four more under construction at Ingalls, including USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), which is scheduled to be christened in the spring of 2016. USS John Finn (DDG-113) was christened in May and is expected to undergo sea trials in 2016. USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117) celebrated her keel-authentication milestone in October and is expected to launch in the first half of 2017. USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) started construction in July and is scheduled for keel laying in the second quarter of 2016.
USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) is named to honor Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions that saved others during the Vietnam War. Johnson shouted a warning to his fellow Marines and hurled himself on an explosive device, saving the life of one Marine and preventing the enemy from penetrating his sector of the patrol’s perimeter. Johnson died instantly. The Charleston, S.C., native had only been in Vietnam for two months and a few days when he was killed at the age of 20.
On April 20, 1970, President Richard M. Nixon posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest recognition and honor a member of the United States military can receive. On September 5, 1991, 23 years after his heroic act, the Veterans Hospital in Charleston was renamed the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Hospital.
In September 2014, Georgeann McRaven, ship sponsor and wife of retired Admiral William McRaven, former commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, attended the Ralph Johnson keel laying and proclaimed the ship to be «truly and fairly laid».
The highly capable, multi-mission ship can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.
Ingalls Shipbuilding launched the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer DDG-114 on December 12. The ship is scheduled to be christened in the spring of 2016 (Photo by Andrew Young/HII)
|Length Overall||510 feet/156 m|
|Beam – Waterline||59 feet/18 m|
|Draft||30.5 feet/9.3 m|
|Displacement – Full Load||9,217 tons/9,363 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 Mark-45 gun; 2 CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos|
Flight IIA: Restart
|DDG-113 John Finn||HIIIS||03-28-15|
|DDG-114 Ralph Johnson||HIIIS||12-12-15|
|DDG-115 Rafael Peralta||GDBIW||10-31-15|
GDBIW – General Dynamics Bath Iron Works
HIIIS – Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Shipbuilding