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02 Aug 2023

US Navy christens Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr.

US Navy christens Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr.
US Navy

The Navy will christen the future USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124) during a 10:30 a.m. EDT ceremony on Saturday, July 29, at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.

The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy, will deliver the christening ceremony's principal address. Remarks will also be provided by Colonel (ret.) Harvey C. Barnum, Jr., the ship's namesake; the Honorable Janet Mills, Governor of Maine; the Honorable Susan Collins, U.S. Senator, Maine; the Honorable Angus King, U.S. Senator, Maine; Gen. Eric Smith, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps; Vice Adm. William Galinis, Commander Naval Sea Systems Command; and Mr. Charles Krugh, president, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. The ship's sponsor is Colonel Barnum's wife, Ms. Martha Hill. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Ms. Hill will christen the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

The ship's namesake, Col. Harvey C. Barnum Jr., received the Medal of Honor for heroism displayed during an action outside Ky Phu, Quang Tin Province, Vietnam. Serving with Company H, 2d Battalion, and 9th Marines, he assumed command after the rifle company commander was mortally wounded by a sudden enemy attack. Rallying his troops, he organized the defeat of the enemy force and the successful evacuation of the dead and wounded.

This is the first U.S. Navy ship to honor Barnum.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. Navy's surface fleet, providing protection to America around the globe. These highly capable, multi-mission ships conduct various operations, from peacetime presence to national security, providing a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface, and subsurface domains. These elements of seapower enable the Navy to defend American prosperity and prevent future conflict abroad.

Built to displace 9,217 tons at full load, the DDG 124 is an impressive 513 feet (156 meters) in length with a beam of 66 feet (20 meters). This vessel is powered by four General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, delivering a total of 100,000 shaft horsepower (75,000 kW). Such a powerful propulsion system enables the DDG 124 to achieve speeds of up to 31 knots (57 km/h; 36 mph).

The future USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124) has been designed to accommodate a complement of 380 officers and enlisted personnel. Its armaments include an array of advanced weaponry.

For guns, it boasts a lightweight 5-inch (127 mm)/62 Mk 45 Mod 4, a 20 mm Phalanx CIWS, two 25 mm Mk 38 Machine Gun Systems, and four .50 caliber (12.7 mm) guns.

In terms of missiles, the ship features a 32-cell and a 64-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS), housing 96 total cells. These cells will carry an assortment of missile types, including the RIM-66M Surface-to-Air Missile, RIM-156 Surface-to-Air Missile, RIM-174A Standard ERAM, RIM-161 Anti-Ballistic Missile, RIM-162 ESSM (quad-packed), BGM-109 Tomahawk Cruise Missile, and the RUM-139 Vertical Launch ASROC.

For torpedo warfare, the DDG 124 is equipped with two Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes, capable of launching the Mark 46, Mark 50, and Mark 54 Lightweight Torpedoes.

The future USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124) also has the capability to carry two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, supported by double hangar and helipad facilities.

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