US Navy destroyer Ralph Johnson completes builder’s trials

The U.S. Navy future Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) completed builder’s trials on July 20 after spending four days underway in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command announced.

Builder’s trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), and the Navy to assess the ship’s systems and its readiness for delivery.

According to NAVSEA, DDG 114 successfully demonstrated full power runs, self-defense detect-to-engage exercises, steering checks, boat handling, and anchoring during the underway.

“We’re extremely proud that this is the second ship we’ve taken to sea from Huntington Ingalls since the program’s restart, and in both instances, builder’s trials performance has been very successful,” said Capt. Casey Moton, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “With a rigorous trial behind us, we’re a step closer to delivering another tremendous capability to the fleet.”

The DDG 51 class ships currently being constructed are Aegis Baseline 9 Integrated Air and Missile Defense destroyers with increased computing power and radar upgrades that improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern air warfare and ballistic missile defense threats. The Aegis Combat System will enable DDG 114 to link radars with other ships and aircraft to provide a composite picture of the battle space. When operational, DDG 114 and her sister ships will serve as integral players in global maritime security.

The future USS Ralph Johnson will return to sea to conduct acceptance trials with the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey. During acceptance trials, all systems and gears will be inspected and evaluated prior to the Navy accepting delivery.

HII is currently in production on future destroyers Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), Frank E. Petersen Jr (DDG 121) and Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), and under contract for one additional ship awarded as part of the five-ship multi-year procurement for fiscal years 2013-2017.

Ralph Johnson is the 30th Arleigh Burke class destroyer constructed by HII.