Charles F. Adams-class destroyer

Charles F. Adams-class destroyer
USS Charles F Adams (DDG-2) underway c1973.jpg
USS Charles F. Adams
Class overview
Name: Charles F. Adams class
Preceded by: Farragut class
Succeeded by: Spruance class
Completed: 23
Retired: 23
Preserved: 1
General characteristics
Type: Guided missile destroyer (DDG)
  • 3,277 tons standard
  • 4,526 full load
Length: 437 ft (133 m)
Beam: 47 ft (14 m)
Draft: 15 ft (4.6 m)
  • 2 × steam turbines providing 70,000 shp (52,000 kW); 2 shafts
  • 4 × 1,275 psi (8,790 kPa) boilers
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph)
Range: 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h)
Complement: 310-333
Sensors and
processing systems:

The Charles F. Adams class is a ship class of 29 guided missile destroyers (DDG) built between 1958 and 1967. Twenty three destroyers were built for the United States Navy, three for the Royal Australian Navy, and three for the West German Bundesmarine. The design of these ships was based on that of Forrest Sherman-class destroyers, but the Charles F. Adams class were the first class designed to serve as guided missile destroyers.[Note 1] 19 feet (5.8 m) of length was added to the center of the design of the Forrest Sherman class to carry the ASROC launcher. The Charles F. Adams-class destroyers were the last steam turbine-powered destroyers built for the U.S. Navy. Starting with the later Spruance-class destroyers, all U.S. Navy destroyers have been powered by gas turbines. Some of the destroyers of the Charles F. Adams class served during the blockade of Cuba in 1962 and during the Vietnam War.

New threat update and decommissioning

Although designed with cutting-edge technology for the 1950s, by the mid-1970s it was clear to the Navy that the Charles F. Adams-class destroyers were not prepared to deal with modern air attacks and guided missiles. To reduce this vulnerability, the U.S. Navy began the New Threat Upgrade (NTU) program. This consisted of a number of sensor, weapons and communications upgrades that were intended to extend the service lives of the ships. Under the NTU, these destroyers received improved electronic warfare capability through the installation of the AN/SLQ-32(V)2 EW Suite.

The upgraded combat system would include the MK86 Gun Fire Control System with AN/SPQ-9 radar, the Hughes AN/SPS-52C 3D radar, the AN/SPG-51C (Digital) Fire Control Radars, and the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS). These ships were also planned to have the ability to launch several Harpoon antiship missiles, which were to be installed in their MK-11 Tartar missile launcher.

During the 1980s, the Reagan Administration chose to accelerate production of the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers and build the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, both classes with the Aegis Combat System that was considered more effective than NTU-upgraded ships, to gradually replace all existing destroyer and cruiser classes (especially the expensive nuclear-powered cruisers). The result of this was that only three of Charles F. Adams-class destroyers, Tattnall, Goldsborough, and Benjamin Stoddert received the full upgrade. Other ships, of the class, such as Charles F. Adams, received only partial upgrades, which included the AN/SLQ-32 and Harpoon Missile upgrades, that were intended to extend their service lives until the Arleigh Burke class could reach operational capability.

The United States Navy decommissioned its last Charles F. Adams destroyer, Goldsborough, on 29 April 1993. The Australian and German navies decommissioned their last ships of this class by 2003. Four ships of this class were transferred to the Hellenic Navy in 1992, but those have also been decommissioned.

Charles F. Adams was originally planned to open as a museum ship sometime in 2018, but those plans were put on hold and the ship is planned to be scrapped in 2020. The German destroyer Mölders was made into a museum ship, but all of the other destroyers in the class have been sunk as targets, sunk for diving wrecks or sold for scrap.

Ships in class

Mölders, a Lütjens-class destroyer as museum ship of the German Navy
Ship name Hull no. Builder Laid Down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Fate Notes
Charles F. Adams DDG-2 Bath Iron Works 16 June 1958 8 September 1959 10 September 1960 1 August 1990 Bound to scrap [5]
John King DDG-3 25 August 1958 30 January 1960 4 February 1961 30 March 1990 Scrapped [6]
Lawrence DDG-4 New York Shipbuilding Corporation 27 October 1958 27 February 1960 6 January 1962 30 March 1990 Scrapped [7]
Claude V. Ricketts DDG-5 18 May 1959 14 June 1960 5 May 1962 31 October 1989 Scrapped [8]
Barney DDG-6 10 August 1959 10 December 1960 11 August 1962 17 December 1990 Scrapped [9]
Henry B. Wilson DDG-7 Defoe Shipbuilding Company 28 February 1958 22 April 1959 17 December 1960 2 October 1989 Sunk as target [10]
Lynde McCormick DDG-8 4 April 1958 28 July 1959 3 June 1961 1 October 1991 Sunk as target [11]
Towers DDG-9 Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle, Washington 1 April 1958 23 April 1959 6 June 1961 1 October 1990 Sunk as target [12]
Sampson DDG-10 Bath Iron Works 2 March 1959 21 May 1960 24 June 1961 24 June 1991 Scrapped [13]
Sellers DDG-11 3 August 1959 9 September 1960 28 October 1961 31 October 1989 Scrapped [14]
Robison DDG-12 Defoe Shipbuilding Company 28 April 1959 27 April 1960 9 December 1961 1 October 1991 Scrapped [15]
Hoel DDG-13 3 August 1959 4 August 1960 16 June 1962 1 October 1990 Converted to power barge, then scrapped [16]
Buchanan DDG-14 Todd-Pacific Shipyards, Seattle, Washington 17 January 1958 11 May 1960 7 February 1962 1 October 1991 Sunk as target [17]
Berkeley DDG-15 New York Shipbuilding Corporation 1 June 1960 29 July 1961 15 December 1962 30 September 1992 Sold to Greece as Themistoklis (D221), scrapped later [18]
Joseph Strauss DDG-16 27 December 1960 9 December 1961 20 April 1963 1 February 1990 Sold to Greece as Formion (D220), scrapped later [19]
Conyngham DDG-17 1 May 1961 18 May 1962 13 July 1963 30 October 1990 Scrapped [20]
Semmes DDG-18 Avondale Shipyard 15 August 1960 20 May 1961 10 December 1962 14 April 1991 Sold to Greece as Kimon (D218), scrapped 2006 [21]
Tattnall DDG-19 14 November 1960 26 August 1961 13 April 1963 18 January 1991 Scrapped [22]
Goldsborough DDG-20 Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company, Seattle, Washington 3 January 1961 15 December 1961 9 November 1963 29 April 1993 Sold to Australia as a parts hulk, scrapped later. [23]
Cochrane DDG-21 31 July 1961 18 July 1962 21 March 1964 1 October 1990 Scrapped [24]
Benjamin Stoddert DDG-22 11 June 1962 8 January 1963 12 September 1964 20 December 1991 Sank while under tow en route for scrapping [25]
Richard E. Byrd DDG-23 Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle, Washington 12 April 1961 6 February 1962 7 March 1964 27 April 1990 Sold to Greece for parts, sunk as target later [26]
Waddell DDG-24 6 February 1962 26 February 1963 28 August 1964 1 October 1992 Sold to Greece as Nearchos (D219), sunk as target later [27]

Hellenic Navy

Four destroyers were transferred to the Hellenic Navy;

Lütjens class

Lütjens rendering honours after the September 11 attacks

The Lütjens-class destroyer was a modification of the Charles F. Adams class for the Bundesmarine (the Navy of West Germany). It differed from the Charles F. Adams class in the layout of the crew accommodations, the location of the bow sonar, a second large aerial mast and different funnels.

Perth class

The Royal Australian Navy had three Charles F. Adams-class units constructed to their own specifications (these ships were designated the Perth class). Although broadly similar to the US Navy's vessels, the Australian ships were fitted with the Ikara system instead of the ASROC that was fitted to the American units. The three ships were: