USS Ralph Johnson completes builder's sea trials


USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) has completed a builder's trials programme comprising a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations, after spending four days underway in the Gulf of Mexico last week. 

The builder's trials were conducted to allow shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and the US Navy to review the vessel’s systems and its readiness before delivery.

USS Ralph Johnson is the 30th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be constructed by HII.

The trials saw the vessel demonstrate full-power runs, self-defence detect-to-engage exercises, steering checks, boat handling, and anchoring capabilities.

Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships DDG 51 class program manager Capt. Casey Moton said: "We're extremely proud that this is the second ship we've taken to sea from Huntington Ingalls since the program's restart, and in both instances, builder's trials performance has been very successful.

"With a rigorous trial behind us, we're a step closer to delivering another tremendous capability to the fleet."

The DDG 51-class ships currently being built are Aegis Baseline 9 Integrated Air and Missile Defense destroyers featuring computing power and radar upgrades to enable improved detection and reaction capabilities against modern air warfare and ballistic-missile defence threats.

"The Aegis Combat System installed in the DDG 114 will link the vessel's radars with other ships and aircraft to provide a composite picture of the battle space."

The Aegis Combat System installed in the DDG 114 will link the vessel's radars with other ships and aircraft to provide a composite picture of the battle space.

DDG 114 and her sister ships are expected to be an integral part of the global maritime security activities once they become operational.

The USS Ralph Johnson is scheduled to return to sea to undergo acceptance trials with the navy's Board of Inspection and Survey.

The acceptance trials will involve inspection and review of all the ship's systems and gears before it is delivered to the US Navy.

HII is currently building the future destroyers Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), Frank E. Petersen Jr (DDG 121) and Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123).

It also has a contract for one additional ship, which was initially awarded as part of the five-ship multi-year procurement for fiscal years 2013-2017.

One of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organisations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.