Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division successfully launched the US Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121) last Frida.
“This is the one of the most significant milestones in the life of any ship,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “Our shipbuilders implement such an organized 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.”
To date, Ingalls has delivered 30 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the U.S. Navy, most recently delivering USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), which was commissioned on March 24. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123) and Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125).
“Launch and translation are always an exciting turning points in the life of a ship,” said George Nungesser, Ingalls’ DDG program manager. “Our team works vigorously to ensure everything is in place in for weeks leading up to launch to ensure its success. Serial production has allowed us the opportunity for learning that has been vital to the continued progress of the DDG 51 program.”
Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. The guided missile destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.