The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided missile destroyer, the future USS Frank E Petersen Jr (DDG 121), has been launched at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
HII’s multi-day vessel-launching process involved the movement of the ship from the land-level facility to a floating dry dock using Ingalls Shipbuilding’s railcar system.
The dry dock was then slowly flooded until the ship was afloat, enabling workers to carry out its final outfitting and production.
HII Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said: “This is the one of the most significant milestones in the life of any ship.
“Our shipbuilders implement such an organised launch plan and they have once again executed it in a quality manner.
“We are proud to have DDG 121 one step closer to completion and look forward to presenting this invaluable asset to the navy fleet in the future.”
DDG 121 has been named after the US Marine Corps’ (USMC) first African-American aviator and general officer, Frank Emmanuel Petersen Jr.
It is equipped with the US Navy’s Aegis Combat System Baseline 9 and is able to deliver quick reaction times, high firepower and increased electronic countermeasure capabilities for anti-air warfare missions.
The future USS Frank E Petersen Jr is being configured as a Flight IIA destroyer and will enable power projection, forward presence and escort operations at sea in support of low-intensity conflict / coastal and littoral offshore warfare, in addition to open ocean conflict operations.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are multi-mission vessels that are capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, ranging from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection.
The ships feature both offensive and defensive weapons and can conduct air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously.