Home » News & Analysis » Navy Accepts Delivery of Arleigh Burke Restart Destroyer Ralph Johnson

Navy Accepts Delivery of Arleigh Burke Restart Destroyer Ralph Johnson

Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) was launched at the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in 2015. HII Photo

The Navy accepted delivery of guided-missile destroyer Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) from shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries after the ship successfully completed a series of trials at sea and in port.

Ralph Johnson is the 64th Arleigh Burke class destroyer built for the Navy. Johnson is the third of four DDG-51 Flight IIA destroyer built under a 2008 restart of the line by then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates. 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, according to a Navy statement.

The ship is named for Pfc. Ralph Johnson, a 19-year-old Marine who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam. In March 1968, Johnson shouted a warning to fellow Marines after a grenade landed in their fighting hole. Johnson then jumped on a grenade, absorbing the blast with his body, dying instantly, but saving the Marines near him. President Richard Nixon awarded Johnson the Medal of Honor in 1970, according to the Navy. The Veterans Affairs hospital in Johnson’s home town Charleston, S.C., was named for him in 1991, according to the VA.

The Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., where Ralph Johnson was constructed, is currently working on future destroyers Paul Ignatius (DDG-117), Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), Frank E. Petersen, Jr. (DDG-121), Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123), and is under contract for the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125) which will be the first Flight III ship.

Ralph Johnson is scheduled for commissioning March 24, in Charleston, S.C.

  • DaSaint

    Good job. The 64th Burke! Keep ’em rolling,

    • Secundius

      Keel was laid of the Last Flight IIA Arleigh Burke Destroyers on 14 November 2017. DDG-123, USS Lenah H. Sutcliffe-Higbee (Second Superintendent of the US Navy’s Nurse Corps, 1911)…

      • Augustine’s Lion

        For the last flight IIA, but they are keeping the production line open for the new Flight IIIs.

        • Secundius

          And “Possibly” a Flight IV down the Pipeline in the Mid 2020’s…

  • Ed L

    Good Name for a fighting ship. Question for the masses. Does the Navy have a 127mm round similar to the Army M1028 (120mm tank round) which is a 120mm shotgun shell for the M1 tank. The shell holds 1100 10mm tungsten balls. They are apparently lethal up to 700m (765 yards). In addition to a our Army Sabot, APFSDS, a HE round, a breaching round too.

    • Rocco

      Yes !!…. Standard 5″ round or 127mm (54) cal.

      • Ed L

        I just discovered that our Navy doesn’t have a shotgun round. Just a high explosive version with various fuses, training rounds without warheads and a cargo version or dual purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM).

  • FresnoJoe


  • Kenneth Millstein

    I am really happy for the family of Pfc. Ralph Johnson. I hope the Navy’s accepted delivery of the ship named in behalf of the Vietnam War hero gives the family something to point too, when thinking about the sacrifice this young man made. May he forever Rest in Peace. God Bless!

  • Augustine’s Lion

    We are in need of cruisers, so why not simplify the process and restart a line of Ticonderogas? Instead they wasted defense money on the failed LCS. 😒

    • Mike

      The Ticonderogas were build on the previous generation of destroyer hull, the Spruance class. We do need new cruisers, but they should go with purpose designed hells.

    • El Kabong

      Look out!

      Duane the LCS cheerleader, will not be happy to see you speaking the facts.

    • FactChecker90803

      There was a Study for a successor to the CG 47. It was called the CGBL and it was a product improved CG 52, with its machinery, electrical system and hull profile based on an enlarged DDG 51, sort of like the Koreans did with there “Sejong the Great” class Destroyers.

      The Final parameters were.

      *13,675 Tons.
      *620 LWL
      *69 BEL
      *2 X 64 MK 41 VLS
      *2 X 5 inch Guns.
      *2 X CIWS.

      OF course if there ever was a desire to build a Block 4 DDG, It should be either a CGBL or an Americanized ‘Sejong the Great-class”, these would replace the CG’s in the fleet.

      Continued building of the DDG Block 2A, 2B or 2C as general surface warfare Destroyers with an emphasis on ASW, Anti Surface Warfare and an Area Air Defence capabilies as replacements for the earlier Block 1.

      The Block 3 DDG would be as stated a ship specialized in Extended Air and ABM Defence, with hopefully 2 X 64 Mk41 VLS and maybe 4 or 6 MK57 VLS for oversized Standard Block 3, Cruise Missiles or Land Attack Ship Launched Ballistic Missile.

  • Hoc Defendam

    Glad to hear Pascagoula is still putting out ships. I worried it’d be wiped out with those hurricanes.

    Spent three years there. Some decent seafood eateries locally. Cheap off base housing.
    Locals are decent folk once they got to hear that southern twang in my voice…Just don’t drive into town with New York license plates on your car! They’re still fighting the War of Secession.

  • Centaurus

    Keep ’em rollin’ right up Kim’s Fish-head.