Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has started construction on its 30th Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided-missile destroyer, Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), which is intended for the US Navy.
Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said: "We have a long history of building surface combatants, and the DDG 51 destroyers have become the backbone of the US Navy’s fleet.
"These are complex vessels built by experienced shipbuilders. This ship class is benefiting from serial production and commonality and is one of our most successful programmes."
Named in honour of US Marine Corps Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, the DDG 114 will be deployed to carry out a range of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection.
Commenting on the work carried out by Ingalls Shipbuilding, US Navy DDG 51 programme manager captain Mark Vandroff said: "The navy and the nation depend on your skills to provide the warships we use to defend freedom around the world."
Featuring several offensive and defensive weapons to support maritime warfare, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers can fight air, surface and subsurface battles concurrently, and can enable the navy to accomplish the strategy of the US Department of Defense (DoD).
According to Ingalls Shipbuilding, the destroyers are integrated with numerous offensive and defensive weapons aimed at supporting maritime defence requirements for the 21st century.
HII is also building two other Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, John Finn and Ralph Johnson. Work on them is 49% and 26% complete and they are scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Construction on the 31st DDG 51 destroyer, Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), is scheduled to start on 30 September.
Image: Officials during the keel-laying of Ralph Johnson (DDG 114). Photo: courtesy of Lance Davis / HII.