US Navy’s destroyer Frank E. Petersen Jr. sails away from shipyard

US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121) has departed from Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division before commissioning next month.

As informed, the vessel sailed away on 8 April. It will be commissioned next month in Charleston, South Carolina, before sailing to its homeport at Hawaii’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Image source: HII

“Watching Frank E. Petersen Jr. sail away demonstrates what this shipyard is capable of, even in the face of a pandemic,” said Donny Dorsey, Ingalls vice president of operations and previously DDG 121 ship program manager.

Frank E. Petersen Jr. is the 33rd destroyer Ingalls has built for the US Navy, with five more currently under construction at Ingalls, including Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125), Ted Stevens (DDG 128), Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129) and George M. Neal (DDG 131).

The ship was launched in 2018 after the initial contract for its construction was signed in 2016. The sea trials of the vessel were completed last September.

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The destroyer honors Frank Emmanuel Petersen Jr., who was the first African-American aviator and general officer in the United States Marine Corps. After entering the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in 1950, Petersen would go on to fly more than 350 combat missions throughout the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the US military strategy.

The destroyers are also 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, according to the company.

Photo: HII