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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:39 pm 
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Hey guys!

I have a pretty detailed outline already envisioned and model started, but I would like to hear what you guys have to say. If there were enough Spru-cans to reactivate, heck even 4 would be enough, how would you modify them to be formidable ships suitable for another 20 years of service?

Here are the stipulations:
- Long enough service life to last for another 20 years

- Modern gunnery capable of engaging direct action in preparation for amphibious landings, NSFS, and gunnery strikes.

- AAW system capable of competing and integrating with Aegis CGs and DDGs.

- Point Missile Defenses meeting modern demands of missiles ranging from SS-N-2 Styx/Silkworkm types to as much as SS-N-22 Sunburns.

- Engaging in and/or direct support of littoral combat operations (small boat swarm attacks to oil platform defense).

So, how would you guys beef the Spruance-class destroyer up in order to make them some workable platforms the US Navy could use? I will post some pictures of my Work In Progress model here pretty soon! I hope I can get some cool additional ideas from you guys.

-David

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:27 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:55 pm 
The Navy should have never gotten rid of the Kidd Class DDG's. They were all wonderful platforms and had a very good weapons system.

As for the Spruance class there are few of them left in the reserve fleet if I remember right. Most have been used as targets or scrapped. They could spend a fraction reactivating them and ugrading them. But, unless some senior congressman or senator has a ship yard or defense plant in his district that will benfit, none of it will be done.

Too much military spending is driven by politics.

All of your ideas are great and would make a very good addition to the fleet.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:06 pm 
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My idea is pretty much a VLS version of the Kidds. They would be equipped with a modern version of the New Threat Upgrade. I don't know how much upgrade would actually be involved becaues the system, epsecially in the late '90s was awefully advanced, but CEC would certainly be part of the package.
I would involve the Mk71 MCLWG for the forward mount and upgrade the aft five-inch mount to the Mk45 Mod4.
The Sea Sparrow mount would be removed and the massive void under it would be filled with another 64 cells of VLS.
SPG-51D/E illuminators would be installed
SPQ-9B in place of the 9A on the main mast
SPS-48 and 49
2 RAM mounts
Phalanx Block 1B in place of the current Phalanx
Permanent UAV antennas
Mk23 TAS
Mk38 Mod2 (would unfortunately be installed. They really suck.)

Here are the pictures I have so far.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:35 am 
The NTU on the Kidd’s was fantastic. I was onboard USS Scott during the early 90’s. We operated with two Aegis cruisers most of the time. During several operations the Scott out performed the Aegis systems. We could detect, out track, and out shoot Aegis. We did a simulated shoot down at over 100 nautical miles. Aegis at that time could not due to limitations.

During one set of operations with the British two Aegis cruisers could not protect the British ships as good as Scott. They ended up calling us the Terminator.

The VLS system reduces the effective range of a missile as compared to that of a missile coming off a MK26 launcher.

The big drawback to the Kidd class was the inability to launch Tomahawks. Also they were restricted to only carrying the SH-2F helo. We could land anything, but were only allowed to carry the Seasprite.

The engineering plant was identical to that of the Tico, which was improved over that of the Spruance.

I like what I am seeing from you so far.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:50 am 
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That is interesting first-hand information about USS Scott. Both SPY-1 and SPS-48 are S-band radars (EW F or E/F band) so should have similar potential capabilities in physical range. Could the exercise situation (with the 100nm simulated intercept) require the Aegis ships to focus on the close-in picture? That could be one possible explanation for the outcome you describe. Did NTU allow the ship to enter doctrine statements?

I was involved with the DD 963 Sea Swap project at ComNavSurfFor. The final two ships involved were USS Elliot (DD 967) and USS Fletcher (DD 997). The original plan was to transfer crews from three successively decommissioned DD 963's to Fletcher. Then Fletcher was to be decommissioned and replaced by Elliot. It was only in the last weeks of the original project that it was decided that Fletcher was still sound enough to continue for another six months, so Elliot was decommissioned and her crew took over Fletcher (and decommissioned her). Up to that point, Elliot was in at least as good condition as Fletcher.

While I don't know that any DD 963's are extant with operational potential, I think it is a good use of modeling skills to conceive of updates to the design, at least as a measure of the opportunity cost in disposing of the class instead of keeping some in reserve.

If any DD 963's remained available, the USN would likely use them to monitor deep water channels toward high-value units like CVNs and amphibious task groups, for approach of submarines. Their SQR-19 and SH-60 capabilities would be important. They would need modern point-defense weapons (Sea RAM, Nulka decoy launchers) for transits and operations along hostile coasts, but personally I doubt they would normally get close enough to shore to make a 57mm gun a worthwhile addition. You could evaluate modernization projects to support those operations. I'd be interested to follow your modeling project.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:44 am 
I will admit I was an engineer on Scott during the exercises I mentioned, but the CHENG was TAO during a good portion of them and would talk with us about them.

I do know the advantage of range in our simulated shoot down had to do with the range lost by a VLS ship. Of course missiles of today, almost 20 years later, should have greater range. Whereas a VLS ship fires its missile upward and then over toward the target a ship with a MK26 launcher fires directly at the target. This improves the range of the MK26 launched missile. My information about combat came to me from my ESWS training. However I also spent a good deal of my “freetime” in combat, since it was an interest of mine.

I can say we did beat the Aegis cruisers time and again in simulations. If I remember correct we were given fist in-last out at Rosie Roads half a dozen times due to beating Monterey and Normandy. Most of the time first in last out is dictated by the seniority of the captain. A CG has a captain for a captain. A DD/DDG/FFG has a commander fro a captain. But those darn subs were hard on all of us.

The biggest things Aegis had over the Scott’s system was knowledge of the target. The 48E could pick up tings first, but the SPY1 would get all info regarding the target sooner in most cases. This is all based on information that happened in the 91-92 time frames.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:12 pm 
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It was then, and still is, my opinion that the Spru-cans should have been upgraded in the 90's. The should have been basically turned into sisters of the Kidd class, just as they were designed to be able to do. The only new systems needed at that point were the VLS fore and aft and the fire control radars. The remainder of the NTU equipment could have been taken off the CGs which were then decomming - just after getting NTU (New computers, SPS-48E, SPS-49). Obviously you couldn't move over their SPG-55s, nor would you want to.

That would have expanded the Kidd class to about 22 platforms (4 original Kidd, 9 Spru/Kidd with the Leahy class NTU equipment, 9 more from the Belknap class NTU equipment). The KIdd class would have needed the VLS and expanded hangar. The CGNs also decommed about this time, but only Long Beach and the Californias had 48/49 - and the Cali's did their NTU refits in the early 90's, so they'd be refiting about the same time to get them. The Beach should have had a whole different kind of refit (Strike Cruiser).

Had this been done, at this point I'd also have revived the mk 71 MCLWG, replaced mount 51 with it (making mount 81! heh, heh...that sounds nice...) and replaced mount 52 with a deckhouse for smallboat/mine hunting operations (a-la LCS). If possible, I'd consider mounting a 76mm or 57mm at the same location at mount 52, but one deck higher, as that would be the roof of the 'flex deck'. That flex deck/boathouse should have had plenty of space to have a davit system to put 10m RHIBs over the side easily. The only drawback would be difficult handling in heavy seas, as they would be so close to the waterline (but do you want to deploys a RHIB in seas like that anyway?).

That'd be a great place for intercept boats for interdiction operations, or for VBSS operations. Would also make each of the class a potential forward operating base for SPECWAR by having the boat and helo availible, and the backup of the 8" gun and tomahawk if needed. One-stop shoping for low-intensity operations.

The flexdeck/boathouse would be a prefect complement to the 8" gun, as you'd probably want tnat asset close to shore anyway (may want to consider a medium freq sonar or medium-mode capable sonar due to the potential shallow water). The issue then is that the Kidd/Spru does not have the signature reduction of the Burkes. Not sure how to fix that one.

Yep thought about this one a bit...

(veteran USS Kincaid (DD-965), USS Kidd (DDG-993), USS Long Beach (CGN-9), USS California (CGN-36), USS Truxtun (CGN-35) among others)


Last edited by SumGui on Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Agreed!

If traditional USN doctrine had been followed, there would still be many suitable hulls in mothballs available for upgrade (relatively cheaply). Instead, most were involved in SINKEX and now we need ships.

Jack


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:36 pm 
I think the Navy did itself a huge injustice by starting the seaswap program. Of course this was in answer to having fewer ships available fro the crews. All this did was wear out ships faster than need be.

All four of the Kidd’s could have been switched to VLS no problem. All they would have needed for the SH-60 was the RAST system that all the Spruecans, OHP, and Ticos had. We were actually scheduled to get a RAST system, but I think that idea was scrapped in mid 92.

I look at where Reagan wanted the fleet to go and see where it is today and it makes me sick. The tail end of the Spruance class and the Kidd’s were under 20 when they were retired. There are Tico’s older than that now. Heck there are OPH’s older than that still running the oceans.

If the last half of the Spruance run could have been saved and the 4 Kidd’s we would have a very potent fleet, still and not need to worry about the DDG-1000 class. Production on the DDG-51’s could continue and evolve.

Oh well, our government must know the Navy better than its veterans.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:00 pm 
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These are some really cool posts, guys. I appreciate the input. I spent about 15 minutes talking to a guy form NAVSEA today about the Spruances today. It's very interesting the real reasons they were decommissioned so early. It turns out that it's because they were literally corroding away. Maintenance had been neglected so long on the ships that almost half of them were not even fit for reserve! That is really surprising to me.
He was very disappointed that the ships had deteriorated so badly so quickly. He was very pleased at the propositions I made concerning how to upgrade the systems on board the ships to what I have suggested above.
Something else that was interesting was that he surveyed all 4 of the Kidd-class before they were reactivated and transferred to Taiwan. He illustrated quite vividly for me the difference between Class B reserve where the ships are dehumidified and cathodized and ships being struck. It is so very, very sad that we have so many assets that have been struck and that are deteriorating due to nature alone.
It does sound like other than people walking through the ships, New Jersey and Missouri are still being preserved rather well. Humidity is being controlled, but I did not ask if the hulls were being cathodized or not.
I can attest that even though Wisconsin is struck, she is still being dehumidified and cathodized. I went through the Wisconsin a little over a year ago, and it was an experience. She is shockingly well preserved. Shockingly. I went through with NAVSEA, BAE, and Newport News, and they were all very surprised.
The NAVSEA guy I spoke with was very inspired by the upgrades I proposed. I might have to get him in on this a little!

Keep the comments coming guys! You are priceless in your input.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:20 pm 
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Quote:
I spent about 15 minutes talking to a guy form NAVSEA today about the Spruances today. It's very interesting the real reasons they were decommissioned so early. It turns out that it's because they were literally corroding away. Maintenance had been neglected so long on the ships that almost half of them were not even fit for reserve!

From first-hand involvement in maintenance of the Spruances and in their decommissioning from active service, I dispute the NavSea guy's statement. Even if "almost half of them were not even fit for reserve" then the corollary is that most of them were fit for reserve. Dates of events recorded on the NVR verify that upon decommissioning, VLS Spruances were indeed put into reserve, which shows that those ships were intact enough for potential reactivation. DoD offered Fletcher, Cushing, and O'Bannon to foreign governments.

ComNavSurfFor said that the Spruances were decommissioned to save the costs of their crews. (During that same time, another decision was to remove the Mark 13 launchers and the associated electronics from the FFG 7 class still in service.) The crew size issue does not explain the subsequent destruction of the entire reserve of DD 963's, since reserve ships had no crews. I greatly doubt that the reason involved electoral politics. It might involve influence from firms involved with shipbuilding that feared troubled contracts could be terminated (as since happened anyway) if DD 963's were extant for potential recommissioning.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:29 pm 
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Hmm, very interesting. If the glass is half empty, then it is certainly half full for sure. I agree. Even if some were so rediculosly degraded...why not SLEP them? Mulah. That's right, the evil cretin rears its head again. What an @$$ that money guy.
If the Navy wished to keep a 313 ship fleet like CNO Roughead told me personally, then they would not have decommissioned the Spruance-class like they did. Kidd conversion to all the Sprucans would have been SUPER cheap in comparison to building 5 Burke DDGs.
Politics...HUH! Puke on that! Eat poop! Practicality is so much better. The battle between the practical and the political rages on!
At least we have our models and our fictional novels!

Do you guys by chance have any suggestions on how to lightly wash (detail) a model for the first time? I am really looking to bring a lot of the detail of my ships out, but I am very afraid of messing the thing up by washing it too drastically. What kind of experience can I glean from you guys?

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Quote:
I spent about 15 minutes talking to a guy form NAVSEA today about the Spruances today. It's very interesting the real reasons they were decommissioned so early. It turns out that it's because they were literally corroding away. Maintenance had been neglected so long on the ships that almost half of them were not even fit for reserve!

From first-hand involvement in maintenance of the Spruances and in their decommissioning from active service, I dispute the NavSea guy's statement. Even if "almost half of them were not even fit for reserve" then the corollary is that most of them were fit for reserve. Dates of events recorded on the NVR verify that upon decommissioning, VLS Spruances were indeed put into reserve, which shows that those ships were intact enough for potential reactivation. DoD offered Fletcher, Cushing, and O'Bannon to foreign governments.

ComNavSurfFor said that the Spruances were decommissioned to save the costs of their crews. (During that same time, another decision was to remove the Mark 13 launchers and the associated electronics from the FFG 7 class still in service.) The crew size issue does not explain the subsequent destruction of the entire reserve of DD 963's, since reserve ships had no crews. I greatly doubt that the reason involved electoral politics. It might involve influence from firms involved with shipbuilding that feared troubled contracts could be terminated (as since happened anyway) if DD 963's were extant for potential recommissioning.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:54 pm 
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I know of no reason to suspect that electoral politics, or any military reasoning, or any fund shortfall, was involved with the decision to decommission the entire Spruance class and then to destroy the ships shortly after putting them in reserve. I know of no reason to dismiss suspicion of corruption in the previous administration, whose officials sent over 4,000 American servicemen to their deaths in Iraq while stealing over $50 billion ($50,000 million) from Iraq reconstruction funds, yet to be investigated.

"Kidd conversion to all the Sprucans" was impossible. The DD 963s were designed with the margin either for an air defense upgrade, which is the design that the Kidds were built to, or for an undersea combat upgrade that 30 of 31 Sprucans underwent. The ships could not support both, which is why the Kidds did not receive a towed array sonar and LAMPS mark III.

On modeling, a really good source about skills is David Griffith's new book from USNI, published just last month. It shows you how to do washes and detailing, in text and photographs.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:34 am 
I can say the Kidd’s were designed with operating in the Persian Gulf in mind. They were anit-air and anti-surface platforms with the ability to track a submarine when needed. This is how they would have been delivered to the Imperial Iranian Navy.

When the Navy took them after the fall of the Shah their sonar suite did receive an upgrade. Then of course there was the $1 billion NTU which all four ships received in the mid to late 1980’s. This made the class a top notch air and surface platform while improving its undersea detection ability.

I also spent time in sonar and one of the ST’s was a good friend of mine. I will say that the sonar room did seem like an after thought added into CIC. I cannot speak for the CIC or sonar suite on a Spruance class. But, the Spruance class was a good ASW platform, which was their purpose.

As for condition of the ships in the Spruance class I can only assume after I left the Navy it went down hill. Being a GSM onboard Scott I know how much work was done on her by the crew and by the ship yard guys to keep her in top notch condition. I spent more than one night on board until 10:00pm or 11:00 pm fixing things. Underway when there wasn’t anything to do, we made sure things were in top condition. The only exception I remember was the darn fire pump in MER1. That thing never worked. All four of our LM2500’s had over 10K hours on them before the first one had to be changed.

Scott was the first twin screw ship to reach that lofty level of use on her main in the entire fleet!

But, back to a possible conversion and condition of the Spruance ships. It is possible when they were decommissioned that they were not placed into the highest state of preservation. This would leave them in a very sad state of repair. Which in turn ended up wasting the entire class, which again is a very sad thing.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:17 am 
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My scanner wasn't working properly, so here's some pics I took of pages from a book called "The Hybrid Warship". Sorry about the quality.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v216/ ... C02147.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v216/ ... C02149.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v216/ ... C02151.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v216/ ... C02152.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:07 pm 
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Quote:
"Kidd conversion to all the Sprucans" was impossible. The DD 963s were designed with the margin either for an air defense upgrade, which is the design that the Kidds were built to, or for an undersea combat upgrade that 30 of 31 Sprucans underwent. The ships could not support both, which is why the Kidds did not receive a towed array sonar and LAMPS mark III.




Wholly, completely and demonstrably FALSE. The Spruance class grew out of the DX/DXG program.

"Although DX had roughly the armament of a DE, it had to be convertible to a DDG, which was, as we have seen, very nearly a frigate."
Friedman, pg 376
(note: At this time (1967-68) frigates were what were to become CG in 1975 - such as the Belknap and Leahy classes.)

"No DXGs were ordered, partly in view of the greater efficiency of the DLGNs. The 30 destroyers ordered were considered potential DDGs in view of their inherent capacity for modernization and conversion"
""The basic design provides for both modernization and an AAW conversion (i.e. to DDG)."
Freidman, pg 377

Ref: Freidman, Norman. U.S. Destroyers, An Illustrated Design History, USNI, 2004.

The KIdd class were DXG, or DDG versions of the Spruance class. The only reason they lacked LAMPS III and SQR-19 is that they were initially ordered by the Shah of Iran. When they were ordered, LAMPS III did not exist, and the relatively shallow waters of the Persian Gulf meant a towed array sonar was not worth the cost. USS Kidd's gym was where the SQR-19 would have been - easy enough to move.
The Kidd's quite easily could have had the upgrade to get LAMPS III and had the SQR-19 added. They never were refit for this because those systems made more sense to be refit into the primarily ASW platform - Spruance.

The Spruance class were essentially 'under' built to keep the costs down, and because the perception at the time that the DLG/DLGNs (CG/CGNs) were sufficient for the AAW job. Remember, this was the Vietnam wind-down time - congress didn't want to spend allot on any new defense program. They were initially intended to replace the FRAM destroyers (WWII Gearings and Sumners), and so their lack of AAW was not seen as a huge loss, as the ships they were replacing didn't have any real AAW capacity anyway. The Adams class DDGs were relatively new at this point as well, so it was easier to get funding the hulls 'on the cheap' from congress.

The flexibility inherent to Reuven Leopold’s design meant that is was used for the basis of the Ticonderoga class as well. Do you suggest that adding massive deckhouses and the commensurate equipment for Aegis is LESS of a design requirement?!?!? There were 62 of the Spruance hull design built - 31 Spruance, 4 Kidd, and 27 Ticonderoga. The design consistently proved itself capable of modification, and a Spruance to a Kidd would have been very simple.

As a veteran of Spruance, Kidd and Ticonderoga class ships, as a qualified Surface Warfare specialist, and as a Navy Chief, my statement stands. The Spruance class ALWAYS had the capability to be refit into KIDDs.

Know your facts before challenging mine.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Chief, your interest is good if I may say that without sounding condescending. Education need not be stressful! The complete story of the DD 963 family needs a book, which exists: Electronic Greyhounds - The Spruance Class Destroyers, Naval Institute Press, 1995. I am the author. I interviewed Reuven Leopold, Norman Friedman, and others, during my research. These are documented in the book. Since I could focus on one basic design, I could afford more precision than US Destroyers, which covered every design from DD 1 onward.

A primary reason for the basic features of the contracted DD 963 class was to segregate the shipbuilding project from weapons development projects. The idea was to prevent the shipbuilder from claiming that design changes upset the cost schedule. Bereft of that tactic, Litton nearly collapsed financially from the LHA 1 and DD 963 projects. It was bailed out in the late 1970s.

The DDG 993 was not a DXG design, in the original sense of DX/DXG. The USN never requested proposals for the DXG design, because as Norman Friedman wrote, the contract design of the DD 963 class provided for a future conversion to a DDG, primarily by installing Tartar D and by replacing the SPS-40 air search radar with SPS-48. (Also, VAdm Weschler, the DD 963 project manager, concluded that the complexity of a new-start DXG was beyond the capabilities of the total package procurement method.) Or, an extant DD 963 could be modernized for undersea combat with towed array sonar.

There was not a design requirement for one extant DD 963 to be modernized for both warfare areas. The decision about which way to go in updating the ships was in 1975 intentionally left to the future, to depend on operational requirements. The undersea warfare upgrade was chosen in the 1980s. To call the DDG conversion design "DXG" is really not technically accurate, notwithstanding that it appears as "DXG" in US Destroyers.

The contracted DD 963 design (by Litton to a NavShips requirements specification) provided for the AAW update with the Tartar D system from an extant DD 963. The DDG 47 concept, later CG 47, came about only after the DD 963 contract was signed with Litton. The adaptation of the contracted DD 963 design (by NavOrd) for Aegis did not provide for conversion from an extant DD 963. The Aegis office (then in NavOrd) agreed to fit Aegis as a new installation within the margins for Tartar D. To keep the Aegis DDG alternative alive, the DD 963 office (then in NavShips) retained the DD 963 margins in evaluating engineering change proposals.

As you say (I think), the Aegis deckhouses could not be installed as payloads on an extant DD 963. Instead the Aegis structures and the DD 963 strength members were merged in the DDG 47 design. Again, the design agency for DDG 47 was different than for DD 963 and DDG 993.

The LAMPS mark III project was underway before the USN acquired the DDG 993 class in 1979. The test ship for LAMPS mark III was FFG 8 and was already at sea with the SH-60.

With ships in service, the actual situation in the 1980s was different than on paper in the mid-1970s. The actual SQQ-89 and ABL/VLS conversions of the DD 963s increased their displacements to 9,200-9,300 tons, partly for lead ballast. The DDG 993 design featured a strengthened hull that could support 10,000 tons. There was no way to increase the hull strength of an extant DD 963 to support DDG weapons on top of the SQQ-89/VLS upgrade, and there would be stability problems even had the hull strength existed.

I see no reason for me to take offense at your comments, and hope that you afford mine that same respect. Keep up your interest!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:50 pm 
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Mr. Potter,

Rockin' posts! The exchange of ideas you guys are having is very informative. So, let me ask you, I saw you said the displacement of existing DD-963 hulls could only support 9,200 to 9,300 tones but could not support 10,000 tones. With that in mind, could a DD-963 in your opinion support the addition of another 64 cell VLS pad back aft in the place of the Sea Sparrow launcher?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:34 pm 
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Some very interesting thoughts put forward here.

I would imagine, a Mk71 modernized, had it been retained, would have a newer Low RCS layout to it. And it might have, of course, been made into a slightly more compact version.

I always thought a VLS Kidd would look neat, so I look forward to seeing the design in action, Dave. She should be quite something to see.

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Die Panzerschiffe - Putting the Heavy in Heavy Cruiser since 1940.

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