The American destroyers of the Spruance class, built between 1972 and 1983, served as the replacement for the generation of destroyers built during
and shortly after the Second World War. With a full-load displacement of 7800 tonnes, more than twice that of the old destroyers that it had to
replace, the Spruance class represented the phylosophy of the American naval program on the early 1970s, according to which would be built large
ships with block superestructures to maximize the inner volume, fitted with machinery of easy maintenance and equipped with high-technology weapons
that could be installed or dismantled in a modular way.
When the USS Spruance was completed, the only weapons visible were the two 127-millimeter cannons and an ASROC launcher, which given the size and
cost of the ship generated a controversy. However, advanced antisubmarine qualities remained hidden inside the hull and the large superstructure.
The magazine of the ASROC could house not less than 24 reloads and the large hangar behind the funnel, of about 100 square meters, could harbor
two LAMPS helicopters; besides, sliding doors at each side of the flight deck hid triple torpedo launchers.
Specially significant were the advanced characteristics of the submarine detection; the bow sonar SQS-53 could work in multiple active and passive
modes, including direct beam, bottom rebound and convergence zone. The adoption of gas turbines as propulsion plant, chosen due to the easy maintenance
and low manpower demand, resulted as well in a notable reduction of underwater noise emissions, allowing for very silent antisubmarine operations.
The Spruance class was designed to adapt itself to weapon systems that were still in development when it was in construction. The intention was to
ensure the permanence in service during at least 30 years, even if this meant dilated costs. The flexibility of the project was such that it
constituted the base for the antiaircraft destroyers of the Kidd class and the AEGIS cruisers of the Ticonderoga class, which use practically the
Spruance class: 31 units (Spruance (DD-963), Paul F. Foster (DD-964), Kinkaid (DD-965), Hewitt (DD-966), Elliot (DD-967),
Arthur W. Radford (DD-968), Peterson (DD-969), Caron (DD-970), David R. Ray (DD-971), Oldendorf (DD-972), John Young (DD-973), Comte de Grasse (DD-974),
O'Brien (DD-975), Merrill (DD-976), Briscoe (DD-977), Stump (DD-978), Conolly (DD-979), Moosbrugger (DD-980), John Hancock (DD-981), Nicholson (DD-982),
John Rodgers (DD-983), Leftwich (DD-984), Cushing (DD-985), Harry W. Hill (DD-986), O'Bannon (DD-987), Thorn (DD-988), Deyo (DD-989),
Ingersoll (DD-990), Fife (DD-991), Fletcher (DD-992) and Hayler (DD-997)
Type: Antisubmarine destroyer
Length: 171.7 meters
Beam: 16.8 meters
Draught: 5.8 meters (8.8 meters including sonar bulb)
Displacement (full load): 7810 tonnes
Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 4 x gas turbine General Electric LM2500, 80000 horsepower
Speed: 33 knots (61.1 kilometers/hour)
Range: 6000 nautical miles (11112 kilometers) at 20 knots
Armament (early design): 1 x octuple ASROC ASW launcher, 1 x Mk 29 octuple Sea Sparrow SAM launcher, 2 x Mk 45 127-millimeter 54-caliber DP cannon,
2 x Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx CIWS 20-millimeter cannon, 2 x Mk 32 triple 324-millimeter ASW torpedo launcher, 2 x LAMPS ASW helicopter
Armament (modernized): 2 x quadruple Harpoon SSM launcher, 1 x Mk 41 61-cell Vertical Launch System, 1 x Mk 29 octuple Sea Sparrow SAM launcher,
2 x Mk 45 127-millimeter 54-caliber DP cannon, 2 x Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx CIWS 20-millimeter cannon, 2 x Mk 32 triple 324-millimeter ASW torpedo launcher, 2 x LAMPS ASW helicopter