Keel Authenticated

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel of the destroyer USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) on June 01. The ship, named in honor of the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy, will be the 32nd Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) guided missile destroyer Ingalls has built for the U.S. Navy.

USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) keel authentication ceremony
USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119) keel authentication ceremony

«This ship’s name carries a special meaning», Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said at this morning’s keel-laying ceremony. «Destroyers are traditionally named after great men and women in the history of our Navy, and the namesake of DDG-119 is no exception. DDG-119 will be strong and capable. She can be no other way, because our men and women in the Navy and Delbert Black’s legacy deserve nothing less».

Black served as a gunner’s mate in the U.S. Navy and was aboard the battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) during the attack on Pearl Harbor. His wife, Ima, is the ship’s sponsor. «To the shipbuilders, thank you so much for your love and your care in building my ship», she said. «My message to you is the same as always: ‘Hurry up! I’m running out of time.’ There is a saying that we have in the Navy», she continued. «That saying is: ‘Carry on.’ Carry on, according to the Navy Blue Jackets manual, means to resume your duties. Sometimes it happens in the stillness of the night. I can hear the faint whisper of a voice in my ear saying, ‘Carry on. Carry on.’»

Delbert and Ima Black met after World War II, during which she served as a Navy WAVE (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service). They were married 50 years until the time of his death in 2000.

She and 45-year shipbuilder Earnest Wiley penned their initials onto a keel plate, and they were welded for permanent display on the ship by CC Tanner, a structural welder at Ingalls.

«Today Mrs. Black and Mr. Wiley create a sign that will stay with this ship throughout its service», said Captain Mark Vandroff, program manager of the Navy’s DDG-51 program. «It will inspire us today and eventually inspire the future sailors of Delbert D. Black».

The current Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy, Mike Stevens, also spoke at the ceremony. «We are here today for the laying of the keel, which is a tradition going back centuries and marks a milestone in the life of any ship», he said. «The entire foundation of the ship is built around the keel, just as the foundation for today’s enlisted force was built in part around the leadership of Del Black. I once read that ‘Legacy is the lantern that lights the path for others to follow.’ It gives me great pride to know that MCPON Black’s legacy will continue for generations to come».

To date, Ingalls has delivered 28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy. There are five more currently under construction at Ingalls, including USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119).

Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) guided missile destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that 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. They are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ships contain myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias presents a ceremonial keel plate to Ima Black, the sponsor of her husband’s namesake ship, USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119)
Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias presents a ceremonial keel plate to Ima Black, the sponsor of her husband’s namesake ship, USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119)


Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 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 (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


Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS