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DD-963 SPRUANCE-class 


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Thirty-one SPRUANCE-class destroyers were developed for the primary mission of anti-submarine warfare, including operations as an integral part of attack carrier forces. The Spruance class ships are more than twice as large as a World War II destroyer and as large as a World War II cruiser. Utilizing highly developed weapons systems, SPRUANCE is designed to hunt down and destroy high speed submarines in all weather, but can also engage ships, aircraft, and shore targets. These multi-purpose combatants are also capable of providing naval gunfire support in conjunction with Marine amphibious operations worldwide.

Built with future growth in mind, their design is modular in nature, allowing for easy installation of entire subsystems within the ship. Space and power reservations have been made to accommodate future weapons and electronics systems as they are developed. Originally developed as Anti-Submarine (ASW) destroyers, 24 ships of this class were upgraded with the installation of a 61 cell Vertical Launch Missile System (VLS) capable of launching Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles.

Navy destroyers have historically been retired by 30 years of service. But in 1998 the seven Spruance-class destroyers which did not receive the Tomahawk VLS upgrade are being decommissioned after only two decades of service, to accomodate the introduction of the improved AEGIS-capable Arleigh Burke destroyers. All decommissioned ships are scheduled to be scrapped

The Spruance-class destroyer's inherent capabilities make it an ideal ship for surveillance operations. Endurance and response from the ship's four gas turbine engines make it possible to conduct such operations with minimal notice and with less fuel logistics concerns. Excellent command and control capabilities assures a thorough, carefully controlled effort.

Anti-Submarine   Return to Top

Anti-submarine warfare capabilities include a sonar suite that contains the most advanced underwater detection and fire control system yet developed. ASW weapons include two triple-barrel Mk 32 torpedo tubes and the Vertical Launch ASROC missile. In addition the ships can embark two SH-60B LAMPS Mk III helicopters to extend the range of the ship's weapons and sensors. Ultimately fitted with the SQS-53 hull-mounted active sonar, SQR-19 tactical towed passive acoustic array, anti-submarine rocket (ASROC) launchers and with twin hangars for LAMPS Mk III helicopters, these ships were in the forefront of the surface Navy’s defense against submarine attacks.

The equipment on board SPRUANCE enables detection of submarines at considerable ranges. The Sound Navigation and Ranging (SONAR) transmits a sound wave, which is reflected by the submarine to allow range and bearing assessment. When the position of the submarine has been determined, either by the ship or the ship's SH-60B Helicopter, computers will pass the necessary information to Anti-Submarine Rocket (ASROC) Missile System and the helicopter. An attack can be conducted with the ASROC (rocket-thrown torpedo). Once the ASROC is fired, at a predetermined time, the missile releases a homing torpedo which hunts down the submarine until it is destroyed. An attack can be conducted using the ASROC or a torpedo launched from the ship's torpedo launchers. SPRUANCE can stream a decoy from the stern to divert torpedoes fired at the ship. Another device, an expendable bathythermograph (XBT) measures the sea's temperature at varying depths and indicates how SONAR waves are bent by layers of warmer and colder water.

AN/SQR-19 The AN/SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array SONAR (TACTAS) is a series of acoustic modules designed to be towed at the end of a long cable out of the stern of the ship. This allows for the reduction of the noise emanating from the SPRUANCE and increasing the ship's passive capability. The Hoist Room, located under the fantail, contains the cable and the array. The display consoles are located in SONAR Control.\

AN/SQQ-89 SONAR SYSTEM The AN/SQQ-89 SONAR System is designed to incorporate several subsystems, including the AN/SQS-53B Hull-Mounted SONAR, AN/SQS-19 Towed Array, LAMPS MK III Sonobuoys, and MK 116 MOD 6 Underwater Fire Control System (UFCS). It is the most advanced SONAR system in today's Fleet. Combining three SONAR systems and a fire control system into one suite, it gives SPRUANCE the ability to use the best of all systems, while overcoming the disadvantages of any one system.

SH-60B HELICOPTER The Light Airborne Multi-Purpose Systems, or LAMPS MK III, is a twin-engine helicopter that carries a crew of two pilots and a sensor operator/crewman. The primary mission of LAMPS MK III is Anti-Submarine Warfare. The SH-60B Seahawk is equipped with a sonobuoy deployment and interpretation system, Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) gear, and threat detection/display equipment. Additionally, the aircraft is capable of carrying ASW torpedoes. LAMPS MK III secondary missions include gunfire spotting, over-the-horizon targeting, MEDEVAC, and search and rescue operations. SPRUANCES's flight deck has been modified to accommodate the Recovery Assist Securing and Transversing (RAST) System. This system allows helicopter flight operations in heavy weather.

ANTI-SURFACE   Return to Top

SPRUANCE is the first destroyer to be back-fitted with MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) which is capable of firing the Tomahawk Cruise Missile. This system enables SPRUANCE to engage shore- based, and naval surface targets at long range. In its strike platform role, modernization of 24 ships with vertical launch systems (VLS) and the Advanced TOMAHAWK Weapons Control System (ATWCS) makes these ships formidable platforms for offensive strikes against targets of military significance deep in enemy territory. State-of-the-art computer and satellite technology allow the ships to launch up to 61 precision guided TOMAHAWK cruise missiles from its Mk 41 VLS at land targets as far away as 700 nautical miles. Ships of this class fired 112 TOMAHAWK land attack cruise missiles into Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. They have subsequently been used for preemptive strikes at the direction of National Command Authorities in both Iraq and Bosnia.

These ships have traditionally had a major role in Naval Surface Fire Support for troops ashore, employing Harpoon antiship missiles and two 5-inch guns (also used for air defense and shore bombardment). The Harpoon Missile System is proven effective in engaging shipping at intermediate ranges. Fitted with two MK 45 lightweight 5 inch/54 caliber guns guns when built, their main battery can throw a projectile over 12 miles with a firing rate of 20 rounds per minute. The five-inch/54-caliber gun represents a major step forward in medium- caliber ordnance for the U.S. Navy. The result is a weapon which allows a single man in a control center to fire a load of 20 shells without help.

ANTI-AIR   Return to Top

Air defense capabilities include the NATO Sea Sparrow surface to air missile system, two 20mm Close-ln-Weapons Systems, and the SLQ-32 Electronic Counter Measures system. NATO Sea Sparrow Point Defense Missile System, also know as Sea Sparrow, is a close-in air defense system employing the RIM-7M Sparrow Missile. The system is designed to counter the threat of enemy aircraft and anti-ship cruise missiles. The system is produced as a cooperative effort by the U.S. and other NATO countries - Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands.

The DD-963 Class has a very capable self defense system, with adequate low flyer detection source Mk 23 TAS/NSSMS FCR in sector search. It provides moderate field-of-fire blockage zones for NSSMS off port/starboard bow, and may be stationed in ID zone to supplement shotgun and provide additional air defense surveillance. However, the missile range is short, and the long range air search radar is 2D. The ship must be within 1.5nm of MEU and on threat axis to provide realistic area defense.


The radio equipment aboard the ship enables SPRUANCE to send and receive messages from any part of the world. Operating 24 hours a day, speed and accuracy have been refined to an art by SPRUANCE radiomen. Communicating within a battle group for tactical purposes is accomplished through the Naval Tactical Data Systems (NTDS). All combat detection, tracking and fire control systems are integrated through the ship's digital Naval Tactical Data System Computer, providing the ships with fast and accurate processing of tactical information. Using high speed computer-to-computer data links, NTDS welds together the processing capabilities and sensors (radars, SONAR, etc.) of each of the individual units in company, presenting a complete tactical picture.

ENGINEERING   Return to Top

The ships are the first class of ships in the US Navy to have gas turbine power. The four General Electric LM-2500 engines are marine shaft power versions of the TF39 turbofan used on DC-10 and C-5A aircraft. Producing a total of 80,000 shaft horsepower, they can drive the ship in excess of 30 knots. Each of the three gas turbine generators produces 2,000 kilowatts of power. Twin controllable-reversible pitch propellers provide these ships with a degree of maneuverability unique among warships of its size. A high degree of automation permits a reduced crew of 24 officers and 302 enlisted to operate the ship. Comfort and habitability are integral elements to the ship's design, which includes amenities such as a crew's lounge, ATM machine, gymnasium, class room, and ship's store.

Specifications  Return to Top

Power plant 4 - LM 2500 General Electric gas turbines
two shafts, 80,000 shaft horsepower
Length 563 feet (171.6 meters)
Beam 55 feet (16.8 meters)
Displacement 9,100 tons (8,190 metric tons) full load
Speed 33 knots (38 mph, 60.8 kph)
Range 6000 NM @ 20 knots
Aircraft Two SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters
Crew 30 officers, 352 enlisted
Armament 2 - MK 143 Armored Box Launchers for Tomahawk SLCM or
1 - MK41 Vertical Launch System for Tomahawk SLCM
2 - MK 141 quad launchers w/ 8 Harpoon missiles
MK 29 launchers for NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System
2 - MK 15 20mm Phalanx CIWS Close-In Weapons Systems
2 - 5-Inch 54 Cal. MK 45 Guns (lightweight gun)
2 - MK 32 triple tube mounts w/ six Mk-46 torpedoes)
MK 112 Launcher for ASROC
Combat Systems SPS-40E Air Search Radar
SPS-55 Surface Search Radar
SPG-60 Gun Fire Control Radar
SPQ-9A Gun Fire Control Radar
SQS-53B Sonar SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array Sonar SLQ-32 (V)3 OUTBOARD II
Link 11
HF Radios
UHF Radios
VHF Radios
Unit Operating Cost
Annual Average
~$35,000,000 [source: [FY1996 VAMOSC]

Ships   Return to Top

Name Number Builder Homeport Ordered Commissioned Decommissioned
Spruance DD 963 Ingalls Mayport 23 Jun 1970 20 Sep 1975 2005
Paul F. Foster DD 964 Ingalls Everett 01 Jun 1970 21 Feb 1976 2006
Kinkaid DD 965 Ingalls San Diego 01 Jun 1970 10 Jul 1976 2006
Hewitt DD 966 Ingalls Yokosuka 01 Jan 1971 25 Sep 1976 2006
Elliot DD 967 Ingalls San Diego 01 Jan 1971 22 Jan 1977 2007
Arthur W. Radford DD 968 Ingalls Norfolk 15 Jan 1971 15 Apr 1977 2007
Peterson DD 969 Ingalls Norfolk 15 Jan 1971 09 Jul 1977 2007
Caron DD 970 Ingalls Norfolk 15 Jan 1971 01 Oct 1977 2007
David R. Ray DD 971 Ingalls Everett 15 Jan 1971 19 Nov 1977 2007
Oldendorf DD 972 Ingalls San Diego 26 Jan 1972 04 Mar 1978 2008
John Young DD 973 Ingalls San Diego 26 Jan 1972 20 May 1978 2008
Comte De Grasse DD 974 Ingalls Norfolk 26 Jan 1972 05 Aug 1978 05 Jun 1998
O'Brien DD 975 Ingalls Yokosuka 26 Jan 1972 03 Dec 1977 2007
Merrill DD 976 Ingalls San Diego 26 Jan 1972 11 Mar 1978 26 Mar 1998
Briscoe DD 977 Ingalls Norfolk 26 Jan 1972 03 Jun 1978 2008
Stump DD 978 Ingalls Norfolk 26 Jan 1972 19 Aug 1978 2008
Connolly DD 979 Ingalls Mayport 15 Jan 1974 14 Oct 1978 Sep 1998
Moosbrugger DD 980 Ingalls Mayport 15 Jan 1974 16 Dec 1978 2008
John Hancock DD 981 Ingalls Mayport 15 Jan 1974 10 Mar 1979 2009
Nicholson DD 982 Ingalls Mayport 15 Jan 1974 12 May 1979 2009
John Rodgers DD 983 Ingalls Mayport 15 Jan 1974 14 July 1979 04 Sep 1998
Leftwich DD 984 Ingalls Pearl Harbor 15 Jan 1974 25 Aug 1979 27 Mar 1998
Cushing DD 985 Ingalls Yokosuka 15 Jan 1974 20 Oct 1979 2009
Harry W. Hill DD 986 Ingalls San Diego 15 Jan 1975 17 Nov 1979 29 May 1998
O'Bannon DD 987 Ingalls Mayport 15 Jan 1975 15 Dec 1979 2009
Thorn DD 988 Ingalls Norfolk 15 Jan 1975 16 Feb 1980 2010
Deyo DD 989 Ingalls Norfolk 15 Jan 1975 22 Mar 1980 2010
Ingersoll DD 990 Ingalls Pearl Harbor 15 Jan 1975 12 Apr 1980 24 Jul 1998
Fife DD 991 Ingalls Everett 15 Jan 1975 31 Mar 1980 2010
Fletcher DD 992 Ingalls Pearl Harbor 15 Jan 1975 12 Jul 1980 2010
Hayler DD 997 Ingalls Norfolk 29 Sep 1979 05 Mar 1983 2013

Images    Return to Top


DD-963 SPRUANCE-class Image Gallery

Sources and Resources   Return to Top