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U.S. Navy Commissioned 65th Burke-class Destroyer USS Ralph Johnson DDG 114

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), during a ceremony Saturday, March 24, at Columbus Street Pier in Charleston, South Carolina.


The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), during a ceremony Saturday, March 24, at Columbus Street Pier in Charleston, South Carolina.


U.S. Navy Commissioned 65th Burke class Destroyer USS Ralph Johnson DDG 114 1 The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest guided-missile destroyer, the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), during a ceremony Saturday, March 24, at Columbus Street Pier in Charleston, South Carolina.


The USS Ralph Johnson honors Marine Corps Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" during the Vietnam War. On March 5, 1968, in an observation post overlooking the Quan Duc Valley, Johnson used his body to shield fellow Marines from a grenade, absorbing the blast and dying instantly. The Charleston native had only been in Vietnam for two months when he was killed at the age of 19.

Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, delivered the ceremony's principal address. Mrs. Georgeann McRaven, wife of retired Adm. Bill McRaven, served as the ship's sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she gave the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!".


U.S. Navy Commissioned 65th Burke class Destroyer USS Ralph Johnson DDG 114 2 USS Ralph Johnson is the 65th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be commissioned, and the third and last of the DDG 51 Flight IIA restart ships to be commissioned. Official U.S. Navy file photo of the future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).


USS Ralph Johnson is the 65th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be commissioned, and the third and last of the DDG 51 Flight IIA restart ships to be commissioned. The ship is equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, which includes an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) 5.0 and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air. Aegis Baseline 9 IAMD destroyers have increased computing power, along with radar upgrades which improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern anti-air warfare and BMD threats. These capabilities are designed to provide the Navy with a 21st century fighting edge.

The vessel will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Ralph Johnson will be capable of engaging in air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and will contain a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare, including Integrated Air and Missile Defense capabilities.

HII's Pascagoula shipyard is currently in production on future destroyers Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (DDG 121) and Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123). Additionally, HII is under contract for the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) which will be the first Flight III ship.