The future USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121) was launched on July 13 at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The method for launching a ship includes a multi-day process that involves moving the ship from the land level facility to the dry dock which is then slowly flooded until the ship is afloat. With the ship in the water, final outfitting and production can commence.
“Serial production efforts on our Arleigh Burke class destroyers will benefit both the Navy and our industry partners as we meet the increasing need for operational assets,” said Capt. Casey Moton, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “DDG 121 will be the 70th destroyer of its class to join the fleet.”
The ship is being configured as a Flight IIA destroyer, which enables power projection, forward presence, and escort operations at sea in support of Low Intensity Conflict/Coastal and Littoral Offshore Warfare as well as open ocean conflict.
Equipped with the world’s foremost integrated naval weapon, the Navy’s Aegis Combat System Baseline 9, DDG 121 will provide Cooperative Engagement Capability, allowing for Integrated Air and Missile Defense. This system delivers quick reaction time, high firepower, and increased electronic countermeasures capability for Anti-Air Warfare.
HII’s Pascagoula shipyard is also currently in production on the future destroyers Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), Delbert D. Black (DDG 119), Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123) and Jack H. Lucas (DDG 125) that were awarded as part of the five-ship multi-year procurement for fiscal years 2013-2017.
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.