USS Ralph Johnson
USS Ralph Johnson during her builder's sea trials in 2017
|Namesake:||Ralph H. Johnson|
|Ordered:||26 September 2011|
|Laid down:||12 September 2014|
|Launched:||12 December 2015|
|Sponsored by:||Georgeann Brady McRaven|
|Christened:||2 April 2016|
|Acquired:||15 November 2017|
|Commissioned:||24 March 2018|
|Status:||in active service|
|Class and type:||Arleigh Burke-class destroyer|
|Displacement:||9,217 tons (full load)|
|Length:||513 feet (156 m)|
|Beam:||66 feet (20 m)|
|Propulsion:||4 x General Electric LM2500 gas turbines (100,000 shp)|
|Speed:||31 knots (36 mph; 57 km/h)|
USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer of the United States Navy. Ralph Johnson is the 64th ship of the class and was commissioned on 24 March 2018. In 2020, the vessel was among those of the United States Navy to incur infections of COVID-19.
Construction and career
The contract to build the destroyer was awarded on 26 September 2011 to Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, Mississippi. On 15 February 2012, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the ship was to be named Ralph Johnson in honor of Marine Ralph H. Johnson, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for shielding two fellow Marines from a grenade in March 1968 during the Vietnam War. The contract was worth $697.6 million fixed price, and was also the 30th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer contract issued to Ingalls Shipbuilding.
Ralph Johnson is the 64th ship of the Arleigh Burke class of destroyers, the first of which, USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), was commissioned in July 1991. With 75 ships planned to be built in total, the class has the longest production run for any U.S. Navy surface combatant. As an Arleigh Burke-class ship, Ralph Johnson's roles included anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, and anti-surface warfare, as well as strike operations. During the long production run, the class was built in three flights—Flight I (DDG-51–DDG-71), Flight II (DDG-72–DDG-78), and Flight IIA (DDG-79– ). Ralph Johnson is a Flight IIA ship, and as such, features several improvements in terms of ballistic missile defence, an embarked air wing, and the inclusion of mine-detecting ability.
In 2008, the U.S. Navy decided to restart production of the Arleigh Burke class as orders for the Zumwalt-class destroyer was reduced from ten to three. The first three ships (DDG-113—DDG-115) ordered following the product decision are known as the "restart" ships, while "technology insertion" ships (DDG-116—DDG-123) are expected to incorporate certain elements of Arleigh Burke class Flight III, which in turn will run from DDG-124 onwards. As a "restart" ship, Ralph Johnson primarily features upgraded electronics; she was originally scheduled to be delivered in August 2016, but construction was delayed and delivery was rescheduled for late 2017 after sea trials were completed in the middle of the year.
2020 COVID-19 pandemic
On 17 March 2020, United States Pacific Fleet reported that a crew member of the American destroyer USS Ralph Johnson had tested positive the previous day. Ralph Johnson was at its home port in Everett, Washington at the time, and the sailor self-isolated at home.
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- This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.
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