The US Navy is set to christen its new Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided missile destroyer, Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, US on 2 April.

The 64th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer has been named after Marine private first class Ralph Henry Johnson. The vessel will be commissioned next year and will be homeported in Everett, Washington, US.

US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said: "The christening of the future USS Ralph Johnson represents yet another example of how our navy’s partnership with the highly-skilled shipbuilders of our nation continues to help us grow our fleet.

“The destroyer is equipped with a range of offensive and defensive weapons to engage in maritime warfare.”

"Because of the hard work of these men and women, the name Ralph Johnson, and the heroism this name embodies, will live on for years to come in the steel of this great warship and the deeds of the sailors and marines who sail aboard her."

The 509ft-long Ralph Johnson has a displacement capacity of 9,200t, is fitted with a waterline beam of 59ft and a navigational draft of 31ft.

Propelled by four gas turbine engines, the ship can achieve a speed of more than 30k.

The vessel will be deployed to carry out a range of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management, to sea control and power projection.

The destroyer is equipped with a range of offensive and defensive weapons to engage in maritime warfare and can fight air, surface and subsurface battles concurrently, enabling the navy to accomplish the strategy of the US Department of Defense (Dod).

To date, Ingalls has built and delivered 28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

Christened in May, John Finn (DDG 113) is expected to undergo sea trials this year, while Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) is expected to be launched next year.

The keel laying for Delbert D Black (DDG 119) is scheduled this year.

Image: The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Ralph Johnson (DDG 114). Photo: courtesy of Andrew Young/HII.