There comes a time in a young guided missile destroyer’s life when it has to be moved from land to drydock– and you can watch the magic in two minutes.
The future USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) will be a state-of-the-art Arleigh Burke-class destroyer when she is commissioned in eight months. However, she needs to take to the water first. In preparation for her christening, she was moved across Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi on rails from the fabrication site to a floating dry dock in a painstaking translation process.
The move took three days and to give you an idea of how large she is, the 9,213-ton ship is about the same size as a 1900’s pre-dreadnought battleship of Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet and is over half as long as a Manhattan city block.
Once completed, she will carry 96 Mk 41 vertical launch cells for a mix of Standard surface-to-air missiles, anti-ballistic missiles, and Tomahawk cruise missiles as well as a 5-inch/62 caliber Mk-45 gun forward as a hood ornament, among other weapons.
Johnson is set to taste the waters of the Mississippi Sound just after the first of the year and be accepted into the fleet in Aug. 2016.