FAS | Military | DOD 101 | Systems | Ships ||||
Index | Search | Join FAS

DD-963 SPRUANCE-class

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 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.

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.

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.

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.


Power plant4 - 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

Link 11
HF Radios
UHF Radios
VHF Radios
Unit Operating Cost
Annual Average
~$35,000,000 [source: [FY1996 VAMOSC]


Name Number Builder Homeport Ordered Commissioned Decommissioned
Spruance DD 963Ingalls Mayport23 Jun 197020 Sep 19752005
Paul F. Foster DD 964Ingalls Everett01 Jun 197021 Feb 19762006
Kinkaid DD 965IngallsSan Diego01 Jun 197010 Jul 1976 2006
Hewitt DD 966Ingalls Yokosuka01 Jan 197125 Sep 19762006
Elliot DD 967IngallsSan Diego01 Jan 197122 Jan 19772007
Arthur W. Radford DD 968Ingalls Norfolk15 Jan 197115 Apr 19772007
Peterson DD 969Ingalls Norfolk15 Jan 197109 Jul 19772007
Caron DD 970Ingalls Norfolk15 Jan 197101 Oct 19772007
David R. Ray DD 971Ingalls Everett15 Jan 197119 Nov 19772007
Oldendorf DD 972IngallsSan Diego26 Jan 197204 Mar 19782008
John Young DD 973IngallsSan Diego26 Jan 197220 May 19782008
Comte De Grasse DD 974Ingalls Norfolk26 Jan 197205 Aug 197805 Jun 1998
O'Brien DD 975Ingalls Yokosuka26 Jan 197203 Dec 1977 2007
Merrill DD 976IngallsSan Diego26 Jan 197211 Mar 197826 Mar 1998
Briscoe DD 977Ingalls Norfolk26 Jan 197203 Jun 19782008
Stump DD 978Ingalls Norfolk26 Jan 197219 Aug 19782008
Connolly DD 979Ingalls Mayport15 Jan 197414 Oct 1978Sep 1998
Moosbrugger DD 980Ingalls Mayport15 Jan 197416 Dec 19782008
John Hancock DD 981Ingalls Mayport15 Jan 197410 Mar 19792009
Nicholson DD 982Ingalls Mayport15 Jan 197412 May 19792009
John Rodgers DD 983Ingalls Mayport15 Jan 197414 July 197904 Sep 1998
Leftwich DD 984IngallsPearl Harbor15 Jan 197425 Aug 197927 Mar 1998
Cushing DD 985IngallsYokosuka15 Jan 197420 Oct 19792009
Harry W. Hill DD 986IngallsSan Diego15 Jan 197517 Nov 197929 May 1998
O'Bannon DD 987Ingalls Mayport15 Jan 197515 Dec 19792009
Thorn DD 988Ingalls Norfolk15 Jan 197516 Feb 19802010
Deyo DD 989Ingalls Norfolk15 Jan 197522 Mar 19802010
Ingersoll DD 990IngallsPearl Harbor15 Jan 197512 Apr 198024 Jul 1998
Fife DD 991Ingalls Everett 15 Jan 197531 Mar 19802010
Fletcher DD 992IngallsPearl Harbor15 Jan 197512 Jul 19802010
Hayler DD 997Ingalls Norfolk29 Sep 197905 Mar 19832013

DD-963 SPRUANCE-class Image Gallery

Sources and Resources

FAS | Military | DOD 101 | Systems | Ships ||||
Index | Search | Join FAS

Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Monday, February 14, 2000 4:50:53 PM