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April 14, 2022

US Navy to commission DDG 121 destroyer next month

The ship will be homeported at Hawaii’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The US Navy is all set to commission its newest Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA guided-missile destroyer, Frank E Petersen Jr (DDG 121), next month.

The service has already sailed the ship from Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Mississippi, US.

The event will take place in Charleston, South Carolina. After the commissioning, Frank E Petersen Jr will be homeported at Hawaii’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The warship also completed builder’s trials in August last year. The trials validated the ship’s combat system and missile firing capabilities.

HII Ingalls Shipbuilding operations vice-president and former DDG 121 ship programme manager Donny Dorsey said: “Watching Frank E Petersen Jr sail away demonstrates what this shipyard is capable of, even in the face of a pandemic.

“The Ingalls Shipbuilding team, and all those that contribute to the mission, are the best.

“Despite challenges, the hard work of the entire shipbuilding team enables this very proud day — watching the Navy sail this ship and join the fleet to support the defence of our nation.”

The DDG 121 was named after US Marine Corps (USMC) general officer and the first African-American aviator, lieutenant general Frank E Petersen Jr.

The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission ships, capable of performing a wide range of operations including sea control, power projection and crisis management.

The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defence needs well into the 21st century. It can participate in air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously.

The 509.5ft-long DDG 121 vessel is the 33rd destroyer built for the US Navy.

Currently, the company is working on the five more destroyers which include Jack H Lucas (DDG 125), Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123), Jeremiah Denton (DDG 129), Ted Stevens (DDG 128) and George M Neal (DDG 131).

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