USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53)

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USS John Paul Jones
USS John Paul Jones in the Persian Gulf
United States
Name: USS John Paul Jones
Namesake: John Paul Jones
Ordered: 25 September 1987
Awarded: 25 September 1987
Builder: Bath Iron Works
Laid down: 8 August 1990
Launched: 26 October 1991
Commissioned: 18 December 1993
Homeport: Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
Motto: In Harm's Way
Status: in active service
Badge: USS John Paul Jones DDG-53 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
  • Light: approx. 6,800 long tons (6,900 t)
  • Full: approx. 8,900 long tons (9,000 t)
Length: 505 ft (154 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)
Speed: >30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 2 Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters can be embarked

USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) is the third Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer and the first ship of the class homeported on the west coast. She is named after American Revolutionary War naval captain John Paul Jones and the second ship to be so named. She was built at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. The ship is currently part of Destroyer Squadron 23, and administratively reports to Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific.


John Paul Jones is capable of operating independently, as an element of a coordinated force, or as the nucleus of a surface action group, and to direct and coordinate anti-air, surface, undersea, and strike warfare operations. The ship is named in honor of John Paul Jones and derives her motto from his words: "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way."[1]

The ship is equipped with the Aegis combat system and is capable of conducting both offensive and defensive operations using Tomahawk cruise missiles, RGM-84 Harpoon and RIM-66 Standard missiles, CIWS, and 5-inch (127 mm) gun. The Arleigh Burke class is the first class of U.S. warships to be fitted with an integrated chemical, biological and radiological defense system.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Construction of USS John Paul Jones began on 8 August 1990 at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. The ship was christened and launched on 26 October 1991.

USS John Paul Jones launches a RIM-174 Standard ERAM (Standard Missile-6, SM-6) during a live-fire test of the ship's Aegis weapons system in the Pacific Ocean in June 2014

John Paul Jones was selected as the Shock Trial platform for the DDG-51 class. The ship was subjected to a series of close range explosions in order for the Navy to obtain critical information concerning the survivability of the DDG-51 class in a shock environment. The crew prepared the ship for the most demanding and complex surface ship shock trial test in the history of the Navy. The ship has completed four deployments to the Persian Gulf.[1]

On 7 October 2001, John Paul Jones launched the first Tomahawk missiles into Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.[2][3]

In June 2010 she began a ten-month yard period during which her machinery control system and many HM&E systems were upgraded. This was a first in class effort, similar to the CG-47 mid life upgrade undertaken on the Ticonderoga hull.[4]

On 10 June 2011, she anchored off the coast of Malibu, California at the beginning of a three-day celebration called Navy Days designed to thank the sailors and their families for their service to the country.[5]

On 29 November 2011, John Paul Jones was the first ship to deploy after receiving the DDGMOD (HM&E) upgrade.[6][7][8]

On 1 November 2015, John Paul Jones participated in Campaign Fierce Sentry Flight Test Operational-02 Event 2 (FTO-02 E2), a complex $230 million U.S. military missile defense system test event conducted at Wake Island and the surrounding ocean areas. During the test, the destroyer shot down a simulated anti-ship cruise missile but failed to intercept a medium-range ballistic missile that was launched from a C-17 transport plane.[9][10]

On 18 January 2016, John Paul Jones sank the decommissioned guided-missile frigate Reuben James in a test of a new anti-surface warfare variant of the Raytheon Standard Missile 6 (SM-6), becoming the first ship to sink a ship with the new variant of the missile. John Paul Jones fired the missile on the U.S. Pacific Missile Range near Hawaii.[11]

On 3 February 2017, John Paul Jones completed a ballistic missile intercept in a test off the west coast of Hawaii. The test marks the first time that a ballistic missile has been targeted using the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor.[12]

In popular culture[edit]

The ship was featured prominently in the 2012 film Battleship. It was later sunk in combat due to severe damage.[13] The ship also appeared in Tom Clancy's Executive Orders.


USS John Paul Jones has been awarded the Navy Battle "E" several times:

  • 1-Jan-1994 – 31-Dec-1994[14]
  • 1-Jan-1995 – 31-Dec-1995[14]
  • 1-Jan-1997 – 31-Dec-1997[14]
  • 1-Jan-2000 – 31-Dec-2000[14]
  • 1-Jan-2008 – 31-Dec-2008[14]
  • 1-Jan-2013 – 31-Dec-2013[citation needed]
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation 1-Jan-1999 to 10-Sep-2001, as a part of Enterprise battle group
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation 15-Jun-1992 to 27-Jun-1994

The ship was also the first to win SWO of the year award.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53): History". U.S. Navy. Archived from the original on 10 October 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  2. ^ Thornbloom, S. A. (14 September 2002). "John Paul Jones Remembers 9/11 While Maintaining Vigilance at Sea". U.S. Navy, PACEN San Diego. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  3. ^ "USS John Paul Jones Command History 2001" (PDF). Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  4. ^ "DRS Technologies Wins Contract to Continue its Support for Arleigh Burke-Class Guided Missile Destroyers Modernization Program". Navy Recognition. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  5. ^ "U.S. Navy destroyer docks in Malibu for three-day celebration". Los Angeles Times. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  6. ^ "First DDG Modernization Warship Departs on Deployment". U.S. Navy, USS John Paul Jones Public Affairs. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  7. ^ Freedberg Jr., Sydney J. (22 January 2013). "From Paint To Littoral Combat Ships, Navy Scrambles To Save Dough". AOL Defense. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Arleigh Burke class Destroyer USS John Paul Jones completes Aegis testing". Navy Recognition. 10 August 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  9. ^ "USS John Paul Jones participates in ballistic missile defense test". Ho'okele – Pearl Harbor – Hickam News. 6 November 2015.
  10. ^ Shalal, Anfrea (1 November 2015). "U.S. completes complex test of layered missile defense system". Reuters.
  11. ^ "Navy Sinks Former Frigate USS Reuben James in Test of New Supersonic Anti-Surface Missile". USNI News. 7 March 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  12. ^ "US Navy destroyer tests new defense system, takes out ballistic missile". Fox News. 10 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Battleship". Yahoo! Movies. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Awards". U.S. Navy. Archived from the original on 15 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  15. ^ Velazquez, Elena (1 December 2009). "Surface Forces Awards First Ever SWO of the Year Award". Navy News Service.

External links[edit]