The Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke destroyer, the John Finn, will enhance the country’s ability to project strength and protect shipping lanes throughout the Pacific Rim, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command believes.
“The ship’s hard power personified sends a clear signal to our friends and to adversaries, that we will remain laser-focused on the Indo-Asia Pacific,” Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., said, during the John Finn’s July 15 ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
John Finn brings to the fleet the ability to operate the Aegis Baseline 9 weapon system, capable of both knocking out enemy aircraft and preventing them from attacking the ship.
According to Lockheed Martin Corp, which manufactures the system, it includes a state-of-the-art multifunctional SPY-1 radar. When paired with the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, Aegis Baseline 9 provides a nearly impenetrable shield and formidable firepower.
Lockheed Martin also trumpeted the system’s relative ease of placement and enhancement onto new platforms, made possible by its “open architecture” design.
It “allows engineers to integrate new systems and capabilities across baselines, as well as affordably distribute the upgrades throughout the fleet in a ‘build once, use many times’ design philosophy,” Lockheed Martin stated.
In time, more than 100 ships in the U.S., South Korean and Japanese navies will carry the Aegis Baseline 9 system.
The John Finn was named after a sailor who manned a machine gun and continued firing upon Japanese planes during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Finn, who was wounded more than 20 times, became the first service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II.