|USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114)|
Sister ship USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81)
|Name:||Ralph Johnson (DDG-114)|
|Namesake:||Ralph H. Johnson|
|Ordered:||26 September 2011|
|Acquired:||August 2016 (expected)|
|Class & 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) will be 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-121) are expected to incorporate certain elements of Arleigh Burke class Flight III, which in turn will run from DDG-122 onwards. As a "restart" ship, Ralph Johnson will primarily feature upgraded avionics; she is scheduled to be delivered in August 2016.
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- "Navy Names Five New Ships". U.S. Navy. 15 February 2012. http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=65361. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- Kropf, Schuyler (15 February 2012). "Navy attack ship to be named for Ralph Johnson". Evening Post Publishing Company. http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2012/feb/15/navy-attack-ship-be-named-ralph-johnson/. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- "U.S. Navy Awards HII USD 697.6 Million Contract for New DDG 114 Destroyer". Shipbuildingtribune.com. 27 September 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/6292nkg6v. Retrieved 16 February 2012. Archived at WebCite
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- Drew, Christopher (8 April 2009). "Contractors Agree on Deal to Build Stealth Destroyer". http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/business/09defense.html?_r=1&em. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- 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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