US Navy receives its 64th Arleigh Burke destroyer USS Ralph Johnson

Pascagoula-based shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries delivered the US Navy’s 64th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) on November 15.

The ship was delivered to the navy after demonstrating its systems and readiness during a series of at sea and in-port trials for the US Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) in early September.

The future USS Ralph Johnson is scheduled to be commissioned on March 24, 2018, and homeported at Everett, Washington.

“The namesake of this ship is a true American patriot who sacrificed his life for the safety of his fellow Marines and his country,” said Capt. Casey Moton, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office Ships. “We’re looking forward to commissioning a ship that will not only honor the legacy of one of our finest Marines but also provide today’s Sailors and Marines with one of our most capable warfighting assets.”

DDG 114’s namesake, Pfc. Ralph H. Johnson, received the Medal of Honor for his actions during Operation Rock in the Vietnam War, 1968. Johnson jumped on top of a tossed grenade to spare his fellow Marines from the blast. The heroic action took Johnson’s life but saved the lives of his brothers in arms and undoubtedly prevented the enemy from penetrating his sector of the perimeter.

Ralph Johnson is the third of the DDG 51 Flight IIA restart ships and comes equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, which includes an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 5.0 and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air. Aegis Baseline 9 IAMD destroyers have increased computing power, along with radar upgrades which improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern anti-air warfare and BMD threats.

HII’s Pascagoula shipyard 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). Additionally, HII is under contract for the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) which will be the first Flight III ship.