Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks

Naval Warfare

USS Spruance (DD-963)

Destroyer Warship [ 1975 ]

Authored By: JR Potts, AUS 173d AB | Last Edited: 09/10/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

By 1965 the United States Navy was ready to choose a new destroyer to replace the Gearing and Sumner class destroyers. Both classes were World War 2-era designs and had been upgraded and modified over their 30 year life span. The Navy had developed a new philosophy of ship design embodied in the idea that upgrades and modifications needed to be less costly allowing for the anticipated 30 year life span. A three point program was settled on, first large hulls with a block superstructure allowing for a large internal area. The second was for hardware combined with power and fuel economy allowing easy maintenance and easy replacement of parts and systems. Third was a weapon system with a modular design for technology and combat effectiveness allowing for cost saving easy replacement of systems.

The answer was the Spruance class and thirty-one destroyers were built for the primary mission of anti-submarine warfare, that complimented the attack carrier forces. The Spruance class were more than twice as large as a World War II destroyer and as large as a World War II cruiser. When launched in 1973 Spruance lack of guns as compared to previous destroyers drew concern and criticism. On Spruance's deck were two 5-inch guns one forward and one aft, the Gearing class had six 5 inch guns, 12 x 40 mm anti-aircraft guns and 11 x 20mm anti-aircraft guns. At first glance the comparison to the deck armament and the small amount of radar arrays as compared to the Soviet destroyers seemed to make the Spruance less capable. At a closer look the large amount of 127 mm ammunition storage below decks for the two 5 inch guns made her as viable and the smaller radar mast was superior to her Russian counterparts. Also was one 8 cell ASROC missile launcher carrying an acoustic homing torpedo, a nuclear depth bomb (NDB) that could be directed towards submarines and 8 cell Mark 29 Launcher for NATO Sea Sparrow SAM for aircraft suppression.

Remembering the mission of the Spruance DD-963 was one of pure submarine suppression not as previous destroyers provided an anti aircraft and anti submarine platform. This limited self defense against air attack and the nuclear arms deterrent agreement between the US and the USSR required the removal of the nuclear ASROC.

Spruance's first operational deployment was in October 1979 to the Mediterranean Sea, with Saratoga Battle Group. During this cruise, Spruance made a transit into the Black Sea to conduct surveillance on the new Soviet helicopter carrier, Moskva, as it sailed to join the Soviet Red Banner Fleet. During this cruse Spruance lost one of her LM-2500 Gas Turbine Main Engines. Now the Navy's new philosophy would be put to the test needing to replace an engine while deployed. This successful refit was a testament to that new philosophy that built the Spruance.

Spruance was the first gas turbine-powered ship in the American fleet. When she had completed receiving fuel or supplies at sea she would pull away at flank speed while she unfurled a large flag that said, "Beware Jet Blast" while playing the theme music from Star Wars.

Spruance made a brief yard stop in 1983, when she received the CIWS and TAS Mk 23 radar system. Spruance deployed for a six month period in January 1983 to the Persian Gulf where she received VLS, Towed Array, and the SH 60. She deployed on 26 May 1993 to the Red Sea where she spent over three and a half months to board and search operations in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq. In July 1994, as part of Operation Restore Democracy, she helped to enforce the United Nations embargo of Haiti. However, so many Haitians were needed to be picked up from the sea that Sprunace took nine hundred Haitians onboard for the trip to Guantanamo Naval Station.

She decommissioned 23 March 2005. Spruance was a cold warrior and helped the conflict between the US and USSR not to become hot. She was sunk as a target for Navy aircraft that launched Harpoon missiles at her on 8 December 2006.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States



USS Spruance (DD-963); USS Paul F. Foster (DD-964); USS Kinkaid (DD-965); USS Hewitt (DD-966); USS Elliot (DD-967); USS Arthur W. Radford (DD-968); USS Peterson (DD-969); USS Caron (DD-970); USS David R. Ray (DD-971); USS Oldendorf (DD-972); USS John Young (DD-973); USS Comte de Grasse (DD-974); USS O'Brien (DD-975); USS Merrill (DD-976); USS Briscoe (DD-977); USS Stump (DD-978); USS Conolly (DD-979); USS Moosbrugger (DD-980); USS John Hancock (DD-981); USS Nicholson (DD-982); USS John Rodgers (DD-983); USS Leftwich (DD-984); USS Cushing (DD-985); USS Harry W. Hill (DD-986); USS O'Bannon (DD-987); USS Thorn (DD-988); USS USS Deyo (DD-989); USS Ingersoll (DD-990); USS Fife (DD-991); USS Fletcher (DD-992); USS Hayler (DD-997)

National flag of the United States United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Offshore Bombardment
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Maritime Patrol
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Fleet Support
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.

563.0 ft
171.60 m
55.0 ft
16.76 m
20.0 ft
6.10 m

Installed Power: 4 x General Electric LM-2500 gas-turbines delivering 80,000shp to 2 x shafts.
Surface Speed
32.0 kts
(36.8 mph)
5,939 nm
(6,835 mi | 11,000 km)

kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers

1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
2 x 5" Mark 45 DP cannons
2 x 20mm Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon Systems) anti-aircraft cannons.
1 x 8-cell ASROC missile launcher
1 x 8-cell NATO Sea Sparrow Mark 29 anti-aircraft missile launcher.
2 x 4 Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers (quadruple mount; tubes).
2 x Mark 32 triple 12.75" (324mm) torpedo tubes for Mk 46 torpedoes.

2 x 4 ABL Mark 43 Tomahawk missile launchers (quadruple mount)
1 x 21-cell Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher.
1 x 61-cell Mark 41 VLS Tomahawk ASROC launcher in place of 1 x 8-cell ASROC missile launcher mentioned above.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft Gatling-style rotating gun
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a medium-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Graphical image of an aircraft anti-ship missile

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
2 x Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.

Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War period
Military lapel ribbon for early warship designs
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.

Images Gallery

1 / 1


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing all American military medals and ribbons.

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-