DDG 114 Ralph Johnson
The Navy's newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) was commissioned in a ceremony at Charleston, South Carolina, on March 24. The ship is named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient, Marine Corps Pfc. Ralph Johnson.
The U.S. Navy held a keel-laying ceremony for the future USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard 23 September 2014. The keel was authenticated by ship sponsor and military wife Georgeanne McRaven, and 41-year veteran shipbuilder, Robert Boegner, Jr. The two traced their initials into the ship's keel plate after which they said, "We hereby declare that the keel of the future USS Ralph Johnson has been truly and fairly laid."
"I'm extremely honored to have Mrs. McRaven and Mr. Boegner here today to take part in this momentous event. Their participation demonstrates and celebrates the role that each individual involved in this vital shipbuilding program plays to help bring these warships to life," said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "I'm very proud of and grateful to the men and women of Ingalls shipbuilding. Their hard work has allowed us to celebrate this major ship milestone today."
The future USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard 12 December 2015. The ship was translated from the land level facility to the drydock which was slowly flooded until the ship was afloat. "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" said Capt. Mark Vandroff, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "We're looking forward to completing outfitting efforts, undergoing test and trials and delivering another highly-capable asset to our Fleet."
The future guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) completed builder’s trials 20 July 2017 and returned to Pascagoula after four days under way in the Gulf of Mexico. With representatives from Huntington Ingalls Industries, Gulf Coast Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Naval Sea Systems Command, and the Ralph Johnson pre-commissioning unit on board, the ship completed 155 separate events to test its equipment and systems at sea for the first time. The ship returned to Pascagoula after successfully demonstrating live firings of a Standard Missile, the 5-Inch gun, chaff rockets, and the Phalanx weapon system, as well as numerous engineering, navigation, and communication systems.
The Navy was projected to take custody of the ship in October 2017. She will be the 67th Arleigh Burke class destroyer and the second of the DDG 51 Flight IIA destroyers to be built at Ingalls Shipbuilding.
On Oct. 19, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, Pre Commissioning Unit Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), would be commissioned during a ceremony March 24, 2018 in Charleston, South Carolina.
DDG 51 class ships are integral players in global maritime security, engaging in air, undersea, surface, strike and ballistic missile defense. Ralph Johnson, a Flight IIA destroyer, will be equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 which incorporates Integrated Air and Missile Defense and enhanced Ballistic Missile Defense capabilities. This system delivers quick reaction time, high firepower and increased electronic countermeasures capability for Anti-Air Warfare.
Ralph Johnson will be the 64th Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class destroyer, and will be the 30th ship built by the Pascagoula shipyard. In addition to DDG 114, HII is currently constructing the future Arleigh Burke class ships, John Finn (DDG 113), Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) and Delbert Black (DDG 119).
The ship is named for Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Johnson used his body to shield two fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly in March 1968.
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all major surface combatants, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.
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