The Spruance class destroyers were controversial: In more ways than one. The production of 30 buildings by one site (Litton Industries, Ingalls Shipbuilding Division, Pascagoula, Mississippi) was already a risk, later confirmed by personnel and component problems. Delays accumulated, but every year five destroyers were launched, which was a feat for buildings of this size. They were considered too big, too little armed, and they were the only attempt to replace the mass of destroyers produced during the Second World War that had reached the end of their lives despite their modernization. It was thought that this series would not be produced, the legacy of which would have been assured by the Knox Class Frigates, who would have provided the interim before the production of a new series. The failure of the Typhoon system planned for budget year 1963 ruined all these plans, and a balance of the means of escort aircraft carriers (6 buildings including 3 ASM and three SAM) and the commonality of the ASM systems between buildings of different classes. Mc Namara added that only one contractor was needed for propulsion, the ship being able to be declined from a single ASM or SAM destroyer base.
The advantage of the system, besides the mass production savings, was that the standardized hulls could be adapted, for example if the ASM threat was more present in the future than the aerial one and vice versa. However, at the base, the Spruance were “default” SAM destroyers, first responsible for air protection. In fact, with the budget cuts that followed, many of the additional embedded systems were never installed, large superstructures containing large empty spaces. Their large size was also required to install machines powerful enough to maintain 30 knots in bad weather with sufficient autonomy. In 1978 it was planned to install 8in / 55 (203mlm) parts to cover amphibious operations, which never happened. However, the modular structure allowed for modernization. Iran became interested in modernized versions, and commanded four units, but with the revolution these units were seized and were completed by US navy on a specific design, the subclass Kidd.
This Kidd class (Kidd, Callaghan, Scott, Chandler completed 1981-83) had a much superior SAM capability with two dual-SA-2 SAM launchers and 50 missiles in reserve, an AM ASROC x16 launcher, and SPS-48 radars. SPG-51 Another specific point was the addition of an armor that moved the weight to 9200 tons.The Spruance class, DDG-997 USS Hayler, was started on 20 October 1980, launched on 27 March In 1982, with an enlarged helicopter hangar, Kevlar armor, and an SPS-49 radar, the Reagan administration added six new buildings to its 1987 plan, which was built in 1983. The most promising Ticonderoga were then in operation. At the tests, the Kidd was able to reach 32 knots, the Kidd were only 29. From 1981, the built buildings received a Kevlar armor around the sensitive points, the modification ending in 1986. This concerned the bedroom loading of the ASROC launcher, and Tomahawk launchers. From 1986, the buildings received modified Mk41 vertical tubes on the Mk26 base to launch Tomahawk missiles. 45 of this type and 16 ASROC ASM. Later these leuceurs could also receive Sea Sparrow and SM-2 SAM missiles. However, it would have been necessary to modify the Mk86 firing system to control them, which was never done. These ships also eventually received the TAS Mk23 system coupled with the sonar SQQ-89, the towed SQR-19 and the SQS-53 bow. Some ships were modified for testing, such as the DDG-971 (Ram Launcher), DDG-976 (30 mm EX-83 Gatling), DD-997 (Mk86 modified to operate Sparrohawk missiles). In 1988-90 the Kidd were also modernized, including the SPS-48E and SPS-49 radar, receiving Phalanx missile guns and Harpoon systems.
Spruance class DDs
Displacement: 5830t, 7800t FL
Dimensions: 171.7 x 16.8 x 6.3m
Propulsion: 2 propellers, 4 turbines CODOG LM2500, 80,000 cv. 30 knots, autonomy 6000 nm
Crew: 65 – 900 m max
Electronics: Radars SPS-40, sonars SPQ-9, SPG-06, SQS-33.
Armament: 2 x 127mm/54, 1×8 Sea Sparrow (24 spare), 1 x ASROC ASM, 2×3 TLT 310 mm Mk32, 1 ASW helicopter.