role. These ships (fig. 8-16) are multimission surface
combatants capable of supporting carrier battle groups,
amphibious forces, operating independently, and as
flagships of surface action groups. Because of their
extensive combat capability, these ships have been
designated as battle force capable.
D e s t r o y e r s . D e s t r o y e r s
( D D s )
a n d
guided-missiles destroyers (DDGs) are multipurpose
ships that are useful in almost any kind of naval
operation. They are fast ships with a variety of
armaments, but little or no armor. For protection, they
depend on their speed and mobility. Their displacement
varies from 2,425 tons to 7,800 tons.
The principal mission of destroyers is to operate
offensively and defensively against submarines and
surface ships and to take defensive action against air
attacks. They also provide gunfire support for
amphibious assaults and perform patrol, search, and
The destroyers armament consists of 5-inch guns
and a variety of antisubmarine weapons, such as
torpedoes, ASROCs, and surface-to-air missiles.
Traditionally, destroyers have been named after
Secretaries of the Navy and officers and enlisted
personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps.
Destroyers make up the Navys largest group of
similar types of ships. Only a few are mentioned so you
will have some idea of the several types and classes.
Spruance class destroyers. The Spruance (fig.
8-17) class destroyers displace 7,800 tons fully loaded.
Each of these ships has two 5"/54-caliber guns, one
Seasparrow missile launcher, one ASROC launcher,
and two Mk 32 triple-torpedo tubes. They also have full
helicopter facilities to accommodate the SH-2H or
SH-60B helicopter, and the larger Sea King SH-3
helicopter. The Spruance class destroyers are the first
large U.S. warships to use gas-turbine propulsion. This
propulsion system was selected because of its smaller
space requirements, rapid replacement capability, and
cold start capability. (The engines can go from cold
iron to full power in 12 minutes.)
Kidd class guided-missile destroyers. The Kidd
class guided-missile destroyers are designed around the
Spruance hull and engineering plant. Armament
includes two Mk 26 Tartar/ASROC launchers; two
Quad Harpoon canisters; two Mk 45, 5"/54-caliber gun
mounts; and two Vulcan/Phalanx CIWSs. There are
facilities for two SH-2 LAMPS or one LAMPS III.
Displacement of these ships is 8,500 tons and
propulsion is gas turbine.
Arleigh Burke class destroyers. The DDGs of the
Arleigh Burke class (fig. 8-18 and fig. 8-19) are the most
Photograph courtesy of PH1 James Slaughenhaupt
Figure 8-17.Spruance class destroyer, USS Moosebrugger (DD 980).