A Better Use for Spruance-Type Hulls
By Captain Robert Lang, U.S. Navy (Retired)
The Spruance (DD-963)-class destroyers were decommissioned well short of their 30-year projected service lives. They were not obsolete or worn out; they were just surplus. There were increasing
numbers of other Tomahawk-capable ships and no open-ocean submarine threat. The ships' large size and crews made them expensive. Once decommissioned, most of the Spruances were soon stricken. Of the 31 destroyers, most have now been sunk as targets. Some have been scrapped.
As of this writing, only two remain. The other Spruance-type hulls are the four ships of the Kidd (DDG-993) class, currently serving in the Republic of China Navy; and the 27 Ticonderoga (CG-47)-class Aegis cruisers. Five of the latter have been decommissioned, with one sunk as a target and two others so slated.