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|
|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)|
Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The contract to build her 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's named to be 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 will be 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 it 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 will be a Flight IIA ship, and as such, will feature 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 will primarily feature upgraded electronics; she was originally scheduled to be delivered in August 2016, but construction was delayed and delivery is scheduled for late 2017 after her sea trials are completed in the middle of the year.
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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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