U.S. Navy Names Five New Ships

Sec­re­tary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today the next five Navy ships; three Arleigh Burke class guid­ed-mis­sile destroy­ers, the USS John Finn, the USS Ralph John­son, and the USS Rafael Per­al­ta, and two lit­toral com­bat ships (LCS), the USS Sioux City and the USS Oma­ha.

Mabus named the three destroy­ers after Navy and Marine Corps heroes whose actions occurred dur­ing dif­fer­ent con­flicts which spanned sev­er­al decades, but were unit­ed in their uncom­mon val­or. The lit­toral com­bat ships were named after two Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties.

John Finn, who retired as a lieu­tenant, received the Medal of Hon­or from Adm. Chester Nimitz for dis­play­ing “mag­nif­i­cent courage in the face of almost cer­tain death” dur­ing the Japan­ese attack on mil­i­tary instal­la­tions in Hawaii dur­ing Pearl Har­bor. Marine Corps Pfc. Ralph Hen­ry John­son was posthu­mous­ly award­ed the Medal of Hon­or for shout­ing a warn­ing to his fel­low Marines and hurl­ing him­self on an explo­sive device, sav­ing the life of one Marine and pre­vent­ing the ene­my from pen­e­trat­ing his sec­tor of the patrol’s perime­ter dur­ing the Viet­nam War. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Rafael Per­al­ta was posthu­mous­ly award­ed the Navy Cross for self­less­ly cov­er­ing a grenade with his body to save his fel­low Marines from the blast dur­ing Oper­a­tion Iraqi Free­dom.

“Finn, John­son and Per­al­ta have all been rec­og­nized with some of our nation’s high­est awards,” said Mabus. “I want to ensure their ser­vice and sac­ri­fice will be known by today’s sailors and Marines and hon­ored for sev­er­al decades to come by a new gen­er­a­tion of Amer­i­cans and peo­ple from around the world who will come in con­tact with these ships.”

The Arleigh Burke class destroy­ers will be able to con­duct a vari­ety of oper­a­tions, from peace­time pres­ence and cri­sis man­age­ment to sea con­trol and pow­er pro­jec­tion. All three ships will be capa­ble of fight­ing air, sur­face and sub­sur­face bat­tles simul­ta­ne­ous­ly and will con­tain a myr­i­ad of offen­sive and defen­sive weapons designed to sup­port mar­itime war­fare in keep­ing with the Navy’s abil­i­ty to exe­cute the Depart­ment of Defense’ defense strat­e­gy.

“The lit­toral com­bat ship is a major part of the future of our Navy,” Mabus said, point­ing out LCS is fast, agile, and oper­ates with a small­er crew and can per­form oper­a­tions in both shal­low and deep waters.

“I chose the name for our two new lit­toral com­bat ships after Mid­west­ern cities from America’s heart­land, to hon­or the patri­ot­ic, hard-work­ing cit­i­zens of Sioux City, Iowa, and Oma­ha, Nebras­ka, for their sup­port of and con­tri­bu­tions to the mil­i­tary.”

Sioux City and Oma­ha will be out­fit­ted with recon­fig­urable pay­loads, called mis­sion pack­ages, which can be changed out quick­ly as com­bat needs demand. These mis­sion pack­ages are sup­port­ed by spe­cial detach­ments that will deploy manned and unmanned vehi­cles and sen­sors in sup­port of mine, under­sea and sur­face war­fare mis­sions.

Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis., will build the Free­dom vari­ant, the USS Sioux City, which will be 378 feet in length, have a water­line beam of 57 feet, dis­place approx­i­mate­ly 3,000 tons, and make speed in excess of 40 knots. Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., will build the Inde­pen­dence vari­ant, the USS Oma­ha, which will be 419 feet in length, have a water­line beam of 103 feet, dis­place approx­i­mate­ly 3,000 tons, and make speed in excess of 40 knots.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Infor­ma­tion at 703–697-5342. For more news from sec­re­tary of the Navy pub­lic affairs, vis­it http://www.navy.mil/SECNAV .

More infor­ma­tion about the lit­toral com­bat ship class is avail­able online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=1650&ct=4 .

More infor­ma­tion about the Arleigh Burke class destroy­ers is avail­able online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4 .

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)