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DD-963 SPRUANCE-class Design

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. 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.

DD 980 commenced trials fall 1985 with the integrated SQQ-89 sonar system, incorporating the SQS-53B (later: SQS-53C) active bow sonar and the SQR-19 TACTASS. All units retained in service are eventually to have the updated SQQ-89(V)8 sonar suite, with Lockheed Martin SQS-53D sonar, SQR-19 towed array, SQQ-28 helicopter datalink, Mk 116 Mod. 5 UBFCS, and SIMAS processing installed. All carry the SLQ-17 sonar signal processor, SRQ-4 helicopter datalink receiver, SQQ-28 sonobuoy analyzer, UYQ-25 acoustic range predictor, and UYS-1 acoustic spectrum analyzer. Ships with VLA launch capability have Mk 116 Mod 5 or the updated Mod 8 underwater fire-control systems. The seven units lacking ASROC capabilities had the Mk 116 Mod 9.

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.

The Mk 16 ASROC ASW missile system, with its Mk 112 octuple box launcher and below-decks vertical loading system, has been removed from all ships of the class.

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. The flight deck has been modified to accommodate the Recovery Assist Securing and Transversing (RAST) System. This system allows helicopter flight operations in heavy weather.

Hangars on DD 969, 972, 974, 976-979, 982, 983, 985, 987, 989, 990, 992, and 997 have been widened to flush with the starboard side during overhauls to permit carrying two SH-60B LAMPS III helicopters, and dual RAST haul-down and deck traversing equipment was installed. DD 986 lacks RAST gear and cannot operate LAMPS-III helicopters. LAMPS-I SH-2F Sea Sprite helicopters have not been carried since 1994. Torpedo magazines are being altered to accommodate Penguin Mk 2 Mod 7 missiles for the LAMPS-III helicopters; the missile system first became operational aboard DD 979 in 1994.


Seven ships received two quadruple Tomahawk cruise missile elevatable Mk 44 armored box-launchers. Firing trials were carried out on DD 976 in 1981, while first operational installation was in DD 974 in late 1984. The armored box launchers have been inactivated, although they are still aboard. Ships with armored box launchers used the SWG-2A launch system. DD 989 had the armored box Tomahawk launcher system replaced by the 61-cell VLS during a 1996 refit at Newport News.

Under FY 86, DD 963 and 990 received a 61-cell Mk 41 Mod 0 vertical-launch group in place of the ASROC launcher; nominal loadout is 45 Tomahawk cruise missiles and 16 Vertical Launch ASROC, with Tomahawk launch performed by the SWG-3B launch system. Since then all but seven units of the class have had similar modifications. SPRUANCE was 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. During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, DD 991 launched 58 Tomahawks at Iraqi military targets. They have subsequently been used for preemptive strikes at the direction of National Command Authorities in both Iraq and Bosnia. DD 966 made the first at-sea VLA launch during 1987.

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. DD 977 has had the gun fire control system modified to Mk 86 Mod 10 (with a UYK-7 computer in place of the Mk 152 computer, Mk 113 display consoles, new fuse-setters, etc.) to conduct trials with semi-active laser-guided projectiles.


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.

In 1994, the self-defense configuration for these destroyers included the MK-23 target acquisition system, the SPS-40 two-dimensional air search radar, and the SLQ-32 electronic support system. The SWY-1 integrator performed the control function by interfacing the MK-23 target acquisition radar with the NATO Sea Sparrow Surface Missile system. The engagement systems consisted of the NATO Sea Sparrow Surface Missile and Phalanx Block 0 or 1.

Since 1994, ship self-defense capability improvements have consisted of the installation of the SWY-3 integrator with RAIDS and the RAM Block 0. In 1998, the Navy had assessed the ship self-defense capability of this class as being moderate relative to meeting the near-term threat requirement and low relative to meeting the mid-term threat requirement. The Navy's representation of the ship self-defense capability of this class may be overstated as it is based on the assumption that the class has been equipped with the RAM Block 0, but as of 30 September 1999, only 7 of the 24 ships had this missile. According to its future upgrade plans, the Navy expects to add the NULKA to the entire ship class and RAM Block 1 to three ships in this class, thus providing them with a moderate to high capability to meet the near-term threat requirement and a moderate capability to meet the mid-term missile threat requirement.

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.

RAM missiles were to have been installed, four each in two cells of the Mk 29 Sea Sparrow launcher, in the early 1990s, but the modification has been canceled. DD 972 and DD 973, however, have one Mk 49 RAM launcher on the starboard quarter of the fantail. The Mk 86 Mod 3 gun fire-control system for the 5"/54 guns uses the SPG-60 radar for AW and the SPQ-9A for SUW; there are also two remote optic sights. Magazines hold 1,200 rounds of 5" ammunition.

The Mk 15 CIWS mounts, upgraded to Block I configuration, have been installed in maintenance enclosures in most of the class, and the aft mount has been raised atop a new deckhouse.


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 SPS-55 surface-search radar antenna has been moved to a new, higher platform on the foremast in order to accommodate the radome housing the antenna for the SQQ-28 LAMPS-III helicopter datalink. A small navigational radar set (usually of the Raytheon SPS-64 series) is now mounted above the pilothouse.

DD 971 carried the prototype USC-38(V) EHF SATCOM installation (FLTSAT-7), and many of the class have now had the WSC-6 SHF SATCOM system installed. The Hughes Mk 23 TAS (Target Acquisition System), which uses a high-rpm radar, has been mounted on all units but DD 986 on an aft-projecting platform on the mainmast to detect low-flying, high-speed missiles and aircraft.

All ships have the NATO Link 11 data-sharing system. USW is handled by a Mk 116 fire-control system. The Mk 91 Mod 0 fire-control system for Sea Sparrow uses a single radar director.

A total of 12 ships of the class (two conversions funded under FY 02, three each under FY 03 and FY 04, and four under FY 05) are to be given CEC (Cooperative Engagement Capability) modifications to permit Standard SM-2 MR missiles to be launched from the vertical launch cells, with the missiles to be controlled by another ship.

In addition to the Cooperative OUTBOARD Logistics Update (COBLU) Phase I Signals Exploitation System, the ships have a SLQ-32 electronic warfare sensor which provides tactical detection and analysis of enemy electronic emissions. Early units were given the WLR-1 EW system as an interim installation until SLQ-32(V)2 was available; at least two ships (DD 971, 975) carried both. In 1987, it was announced that the EW suite would be upgraded to SLQ-32(V)3 in all, but that decision was superseded by installation of the Raytheon Short Stop active jammer, upgrading the EW system to SLQ-32(V)5. However, many ships still do not have the active capability. In those that have had Mk 15 CIWS Maintenance Enclosures added, the portside SLQ-32(V)5 antenna array has been moved aft to beneath the CIWS mounting.

The AN/SYQ-17 RAIDS (Rapid Antiship missile Integrated Defense System) was installed in the entire class during mid-1990s overhauls; the electronic system serves as a rule-based planning aid to coordinate the use of the ships' defensive systems and uses target input from the Phalanx CIWS radars. They also have four Super Rapid Blooming Offboard Chaff (SRBOC) Launchers and four SLQ-49 decoy launchers to confuse and decoy enemy homing missiles. During a 1994-95 modernization refit, DD 997 became the first ship to carry the Westinghouse MSTRAP (Multi-Sensor Torpedo Recognition and Alertment Processor). DD 985 began trials with the Remote Minehunting Operational Prototype (RMOP) (V)2 during 1996, using a winch and recovery system mounted on the portside boat deck.


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. Rated at 20,000 shaft horsepower each, the four main engines are similar to those found in modern jet aircraft and allow the ship to reach speeds in excess of 30 knots [which was considerably exceeded on trials]. Full speed can be reached from 12 knots in only 53 seconds. All propulsion machinery is under the control of a single operator in a central control station (CCS). Each of the three gas turbine generators produces 2,000 kilowatts of power. With two engines per shaft, the two shafts are each driven by locked train, double reduction, double helical reduction gears. Twin controllable-reversible pitch propellers provide these ships with a degree of maneuverability unique among warships of its size. The controllable-pitch propellers are 15 ft in diameter and rotate at 168 rpm at 30 knots.

The propulsion machinery is very quiet. Prairie/Masker hull and propeller bubbler systems are installed to enhance quietness. Endurance can be extended greatly by using one engine on one shaft for cruising. The mean time between overhauls for the LM-2500 gas turbines has been extended to over 9,000 hours. DD 997 has the Litton automated engine-control system prototype for the DDG 51 class. DD 963 has electric heating; the others retain the waste-heat boilers that have caused continuing maintenance problems in the class.

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. Habitability received particular attention, living spaces being divided by partitions and intended for no more than six men each, with a recreational area and good sanitary facilities. Originally were operated with 232 enlisted but now have up to 322.

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Page last modified: 22-07-2011 17:38:50 ZULU