PASCAGOULA, Miss., Sept. 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) has started fabrication of the U.S. Navy's next Aegis guided missile destroyer, Ralph Johnson (DDG 114). The ship will be the 30 th Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) destroyer built at the company's Ingalls Shipbuilding division. http://media.globenewswire.com/hii/mediagallery.html?pkgid=20939 "The DDG 51 program continues to be a model of success for our company," said DDG 51 Program Manager George Nungesser. "We have talented, experienced shipbuilders working on this program, and they have provided excellent quality on Aegis destroyers since the program's inception." The start-of-fabrication milestone signifies that 100 tons of steel have been cut for DDG 114. Ingalls uses state-of-the-art robotic cutting machines to ensure the steel is cut and fabricated to exact Navy specifications. Ralph Johnson is expected to be delivered in the first half of 2017. Georgeann McRaven, the ship's sponsor, visited Ingalls to observe a special start-of-fabrication ceremony. She is wife of U.S. Navy Adm. William McRaven, commander, U.S. Special Operations Command.