Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyers - Technically the first class of American guided missile destroyers

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Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyers - Technically the first class of American guided missile destroyers


Background & History
The Charles F. Adams class-guided missile destroyers were a class of 23 destroyers built by the US Navy between the late 1950s and early 1960s. These ships were at the time of being built the first official class of guided missile destroyers as the only other ship to hold the classification was the Gearing class destroyer USS Gyatt.

That being said, them being the first full class of guided missile destroyers in the US navy perhaps can be viewed as more complicated than just that. The reason being that due to the classification system the navy was using at the time the USN also had ships classified as destroyer leaders otherwise at the time referred to as frigates which were also missile-armed and predated the Charles F. Adams class. Ignoring the conversion of older destroyers into guided missile destroyers before the class the Charles F. Adams class was preceded by the Farragut class which was one of the previously mentioned destroyer leaders. By the 1970’s the US navy had decided to revise and streamline the classification system which particularly got rid of the unusual frigate classification which saw the Farragut class reclassified as guided missile destroyers themselves. So really the Charles F. Adams class is the first full class of guided missile destroyers to have said classification but in the end would not be the first full class of ships built to be considered guided missile destroyers for the US Navy.


In any case, the Charles F. Adams class had their design based on the Forrest Sherman class destroyers with the obvious change being the inclusion of the missile armament. While 23 ships would be made for the US navy a total of 29 ships would be built as both Germany and Australia would order 3 of their own ships each. In terms of the US ships, even during construction, the design would change leading to variation between ships of the class, the most obvious of which was the missile launcher. Originally the class was built with the twin-arm Mark 11 missile launcher however only 13 ships would be completed with the original launcher while the remaining ships were built with the single-arm Mark 13 missile launcher. Over the ships careers for the most part they would operate 3 different missiles, that being the RIM-24 Tartar and the RIM-66 standard surface-to-air missiles, and the RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile. Additionally, two ships would utilize the Sea Chaparral surface to air missile for a short time as well as a flamethrower but these were later removed. Outside of the missile armament and the odd flamethrower the class had a consistent armament, with the main gun armament consisting of 2 5 inch/54 Mark 42 guns in single mounts, a torpedo armament of 6 12.75 inch (324mm) Mark 32 torpedo tubes in two triple mounts, and an octuple Mark 16 ASROC launcher for ASW.

With all the ships of the Charles F. Adams class in service by 1964 the US Navy would not build any further destroyers until Spruance class destroyers of the 1970s which would be a clean sheet design and saw a major shift in the design of US destroyers which were now along the size of world war 2 light cruisers with the first guided missile destroyers to follow the Adams class would be the Kidd class which were intended for Iran originally. In the end, the first guided missile destroyer class that was built for the US Navy (from the start) to follow the Adams class is the Burke class from the 1990’s.

In service, the class would undergo multiple refits seeing improvements in their missile armament and various electronic equipment. The class itself would remain in service for about the remaining duration of the Cold War as they began to be decommissioned starting in 1989 and going in the early 1990s with most of the class being sold for scrap or sunk as targets while 3 would be sold to Greece and would remain around until the 2000s. The last of the class to be scrapped would however be the Charles F. Adams which was around until 2021 as after being taken out of service various groups attempted to acquire the ship for preservation which the navy resisted. As a result the only surviving example of any sort of the Charles F. Adams class today is the FGS Molders which was one of the German ships that was based on this class and is preserved in Germany.


Specifications
Displacement
Standard: 3,277 tons
Full load: 4,526 tons

Length: 437 ft (133 m)

Beam: 47 ft (14 m)

Draft: 15 ft (4.6 m)

Propulsion:
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)

Complement: 310-333

Sensors and systems:
As built (DDG-2 to DDG-4 and DDG-8 to DDG-14)
SPS-37 radar
SPS-39A radar
SPS-10F radar
2 x SPG-51 radars
SPG-53A radar
SQS-23A sonar

As built (DDG-5 to DDG-7)
SPS-29 radar
SPS-39A radar
SPS-10F radar
2 x SPG-51 radars
SPG-53A radar
SQS-23A sonar

As built (DDG15 to DDG-18)
SPS-40 radar
SPS-39A radar
SPS-10F radar
2 x SPG-51 radars
SPG-53A radar
SQS-23A sonar

As built (DDG-19)
SPS-40 radar
SPS-39A radar
SPS-10F radar
2 x SPG-51 radars
SPG-60 radar
SQS-23A sonar

As built (DDG-20 and DDG-22)
SPS-40 radar
SPS-39A radar
SPS-10F radar
2 x SPG-51 radars
SPG-60 radar
SQQ-23A sonar

As built (DDG-21, DDG-23, and DDG-24)
SPS-40 radar
SPS-39A radar
SPS-10F radar
2 x SPG-51 radars
SPG-53A radar
SQQ-23A sonar

1980’s Refit (All but DDG-19, DDG-20, DDG-22)
SPS-29 radar (DDG-5 to DDG-7)
SPS-40B/D radar
SPS-52B radar
SPS-10F radar
2 x SPG-51C radars
SPG-53A radar
SQS-23A sonar (Up to DDG-19)
SQQ-23A sonar (DDG-20 to DDG-24)

1980’s Refit (DDG-19, DDG-20, DDG-22)
SPS-52C radar
SPS-40D radar
SPS-10D radar
LN-66 radar
2 x SPG-51D radars
SPG-60 radar
SPQ-9A radar
SQS-23A sonar (DDG-19)
SQQ-23A sonar (DDG-20 and DDG-22)

ECM and countermeasures:
As built (All)
WLR-1F ECM suite
ULQ-6B ECM suite

Early 1970’s Refit (DDG-9, DDG-12, DDG-15, and DDG-21)
JPTDS CCS
WLR-1F ECM suite
ULQ-6B ECM suite

1980’s Refit
JPTDS CCS (DDG-9, DDG-12, DDG-15, and DDG-21)
SLQ-32 ECM suite
4 x Mk 36 SRBOC decoy RL

1980’s Refit (DDG-19, DDG-20, DDG-22)
SLQ-32(v)2 ECM suite
SLQ-20 ECM suite
4 x Mk 36 SRBOC decoy RL
NTDS CCS

Armament:
As built
Primary gun armament:
2 x 5 inch/54 caliber (127mm) Mark 18 guns (2 x 1 Mark 42 mounts)
Missile launchers:
1 x twin arm Mark 11 missile launcher (DDG-2 to DDG-14)
1 x single arm Mark 13 missile launcher (DDG-15 to DDG-24)
Missile complement:
(DDG-2 to DDG-14) 42 x RIM-24 Tartar surface to air missiles
(DDG-15 to DDG-24) 40 x RIM-24 Tartar surface to air missiles
ASW armament:
1 x octuple Mark 16 ASROC launcher
Torpedo armament:
6 x 12.75 inch (324mm) Mark 32 torpedo tubes (2 x 3)

Early 1970’s Refit (DDG-4 and DDG-13)
Primary gun armament:
2 x 5 inch/54 caliber (127mm) Mark 18 guns (2 x 1 Mark 42 mounts)
Missile launchers:
1 x twin arm Mark 11 missile launcher
1 x Sea chaparral missile launcher
Missile complement:
42 x RIM-24 Tartar surface to air missiles
16 x MIM-72 missiles
ASW armament:
1 x octuple Mark 16 ASROC launcher
Torpedo armament:
6 x 12.75 inch (324mm) Mark 32 torpedo tubes (2 x 3)
Other armament:
1 flamethrower (?) (Not specified outside of a photo source used which mentions it)

Late 1970’s - Early 1980’s Refit
Primary gun armament:
2 x 5 inch/54 caliber (127mm) Mark 18 guns (2 x 1 Mark 42 mounts)
Missile launchers:
1 x twin arm Mark 11 missile launcher (DDG-2 to DDG-14)
1 x single arm Mark 13 missile launcher (DDG-15 to DDG-24)
Missile complement:
(DDG-2 to DDG-14)
36 x RIM-24 Tartar surface to air missiles
6 x RGM-84 Harpoon anti ship missiles
(DDG-15 to DDG-24)
36 x RIM-24 Tartar surface to air missiles
4 x RGM-84 Harpoon anti ship missiles
ASW armament:
1 x octuple Mark 16 ASROC launcher
Torpedo armament:
6 x 12.75 inch (324mm) Mark 32 torpedo tubes (2 x 3)

1980’s refit
Primary gun armament:
2 x 5 inch/54 caliber (127mm) Mark 18 guns (2 x 1 Mark 42 mounts)
Missile launchers:
1 x twin arm Mark 11 missile launcher (DDG-2 to DDG-14)
1 x single arm Mark 13 missile launcher (DDG-15 to DDG-24)
Missile complement:
(DDG-2 to DDG-14)
36 x RIM-66 Standard (SM-1MR) surface to air missiles
6 x RGM-84 Harpoon anti ship missiles
(DDG-15 to DDG-24)
36 x RIM-66 Standard (SM-1MR) surface to air missiles
4 x RGM-84 Harpoon anti ship missiles
ASW armament:
1 x octuple Mark 16 ASROC launcher
Torpedo armament:
6 x 12.75 inch (324mm) Mark 32 torpedo tubes (2 x 3)


Additional images

Spoiler







Missiles

Spoiler

Tartar (RIM-2)

SM-1 (RIM-66)

Harpoon (RGM-84)


Sources

Spoiler

CHARLES F. ADAMS missile destroyers (1960 - 1964)

Charles F. Adams class missile destroyers (1960)

Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer DDG US Navy

Charles F. Adams-class destroyer - Wikipedia

Image Sources

Spoiler

Destroyer Photo Index DD-952 / DDG-2 USS CHARLES F. ADAMS

Destroyer Photo Index DD-953 / DDG-3 USS JOHN KING

Destroyer Photo Index DD-954 / DDG-4 USS LAWRENCE

Destroyer Photo Index DD-957 / DDG-7 USS HENRY B. WILSON

Destroyer Photo Index DDG-10 USS SAMPSON

Destroyer Photo Index DDG-14 USS BUCHANAN

Destroyer Photo Index DDG-15 USS BERKELEY

Destroyer Photo Index DDG-17 USS CONYNGHAM

Destroyer Photo Index DDG-20 USS GOLDSBOROUGH

Destroyer Photo Index DDG-22 USS BENJAMIN STODDERT

Category:USS Tattnall (DDG-19) - Wikimedia Commons

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