Home » Budget Industry » Navy Commissions First Arleigh Burke Restart Destroyer USS John Finn


Navy Commissions First Arleigh Burke Restart Destroyer USS John Finn

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in preparation for its commissioning ceremony on July 10, 2017. US Navy Photo

The first of a new line of Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers (DDG-51) commissioned in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in a ceremony on Saturday.

The Huntington Ingalls Industries-built USS John Finn (DDG-113) joined the fleet in a ceremony marked by a speech from U.S. Pacific Command commander Adm. Harry Harris.

John Finn brings both the saber and the shield into the fight,” Harris said during the ceremony. “Truly, the advanced combat systems, coupled with the innovative spirit and the killer instinct of her amazing crew, are powerful reminders of our readiness to fight tonight. This warship is the embodiment of America’s resolve to protect our homeland and defend our allies.”

Laura Stavridis – wife of retired Adm. James Stavridis, who chairs the U.S. Naval Institute board – serves as the ship’s sponsor.

The Flight IIA Finn fields an upgraded version of Aegis Baseline 9 that will allow the ship to perform traditional air warfare and ballistic-missile defense missions simultaneously.

The ship completed acceptance trails in November and delivered in December.

The 9,000-ton Finn is the first Burke to commission since USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) in 2012. The Navy saw a production gap in the program, which concluded with DDG-112 but was restarted when then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates ordered four guided-missile destroyers in 2008 after the cancelation of the Navy’s next-generation guided-missile cruiser program (CG(X)) and the trimming of the Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer program (DDG-1000) to three ships.

The next three ships in the restart class are set to commission within the next year. The General Dynamics Bath Iron Works-built Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) delivered in February and set to commission later this year.

Following the restart quartet, the Navy awarded a nine-ship multi-year contract in 2013 worth $6.1 billion to HII and BIW, which later grew to ten ships.

Both yards are planning to install upgraded AN/SPY-6(V) air search radar and combat system in a Flight III variant of the Burkes.

Lt. John Finn (Ret.) pays his respects to the Sailors and Marines killed aboard USS Arizona during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor in 2007. US Navy Photo

The destroyer is named after John William Finn, who earned the Medal of Honor for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II.

“During the first attack by Japanese airplanes on the Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, on 7 December 1941, Lt. Finn promptly secured and manned a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on an instruction stand in a completely exposed section of the parking ramp, which was under heavy enemy machine gun strafing fire,” reads Finn’s Medal of Honor citation.
“Although painfully wounded many times, he continued to man this gun and to return the enemy’s fire vigorously and with telling effect throughout the enemy strafing and bombing attacks and with complete disregard for his own personal safety.”

Finn died in 2010. He was 100.

  • Marjus Plaku

    More ships like this and less wimpy LCS. Glad to see just as the Pacific Fleet temporarily loses the Fitz to damage, the John Finn steps up to take the mantle. Way to go USA shipbuilders, the best in the world! All the credit goes to you.

    • publius_maximus_III

      That’s one fine looking ship.

      • Marjus Plaku

        I agree, excellent lines and solid build. If it looks right…

        • publius_maximus_III

          But with that bulbous nose down below, at the bow end of the keel, I’m guessing the days of slicing a surfaced sub in two are over?

          • mcswell

            Publius Maximus, with a name like that, I assume you must have had a lot of experience with ramming enemy vessels. During the Battle of Actium, right? Under Octavian, against Queen Cleopatra.

          • publius_maximus_III

            Nothing like that satisfying crunching sound of your ship’s bow running up over a bunch of enemy galley slaves’ oars!

            “Ramming speed!” BOOM-boom, BOOM-boom….

            Side note: William F. Buckley, Jr. was quite an accomplished yachtsman. One day while at the helm, he decided rather than motor in, he would bring her in under sail. His crew were all ready to drop sail, jump across to the dock, lay some quick loops over a cleat, etc. Everything seemed to be going as planned, until the wind drove him too far and his bow hooked into the dock. Did quite a bit of damage to both. Henceforth, he was affectionately known by his crew as Captain Crunch. True story!

    • MarlineSpikeMate

      We need ships to do a variety of missions..

  • Blain Shinno

    The only thing missing is CIWS or Sea Ram. ESSM should not be the last ditch defensive system.

    • ReanerF

      It has one aft CIWS like all Flight IIAs DDG-85 and further. Really though if CIWS is considered important enough to retain they should all have 2 to maintain 360 coverage, and Phalanx should be replaced with SeaRAM as was done for some destroyers doing ABM patrols in the Mediterranean.

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

      There seems to be a space for one under the bridge.

  • Michael D. Woods

    AND, not named after some politician with no naval connection. Instead, a real naval warrior. Maybe the days of pandering ship names are over. No more Harvey Milk or Gabrielle Giffords–nice people, I suppose, but not inspiring naval warriors.

    • magic3400

      Does the ship put the enemy into the water or the ground? If yes, then sign me up.

  • Western

    In commemoration, I would hope all sailors aboard the USS Finn qualify on the .50 cal machine gun, and that their battle patch reflects it. God Speed.

  • Kenneth Millstein

    Welcome to the US Navy, USS John Finn DDG-113, to her crew both Officers and Enlisted Sailors God Bless all of you and sail safe in defense of the United States of America!