The U.S. Navy recently launched the latest in its line of guided missile destroyers.
Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division launched its latest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, called the Ralph Johnson, on Dec. 16, and the company has released time-lapse footage of the process.
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The country’s largest shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls Industries has already delivered 28 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers for the Navy to use in both offensive and defensive combat missions. The ships are armed with 56 Raytheon Tomahawk cruise missiles that can be used to hit targets on land or against anti-ship missiles.
Each ship costs around $1.8 billion and four more are currently under construction. The price tag for the entire weapons effort, including maintenance, is estimated to come in at around $95 billion.
The $1.1 trillion government spending bill signed into law last week by President Obama included about $1 billion for the destroyer program.
The Ralph Johnson was named in honor of Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for sacrificing his own life to save fellow Marines during the Vietnam War. On March 5, 1968, Johnson used his body to cover a hand grenade that had been tossed into his three-man fighting hole. He was 19 years old.
The ship bearing his name is scheduled to be christened in the spring of 2016. Watch its launch here: