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erik_t
Post subject: Semi-AU USN Spruance'Posted: October 15th, 2021, 12:18 am
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The Spruance class destroyer, though unquestionably successful in service, was derided early in the ships' careers for being under-gunned luxury liners compared to the Forrest Shermans serving and especially the FRAM Gearings exiting the fleet. Two five inch barrels on 8000 tons or whatever, shameful! Rabble rabble rabble!

There was a small nugget of truth to this--of course in the post-draft Navy it wasn't practical to maintain WW2-esque living conditions. But the power of a modern (even modern circa 1970) destroyer is not in counting gun barrels. Still, for the sake of argument, let's suppose in a slightly different reality, the USN wanted a Sprucan with more teeth. And let's make a few stylistic tweaks along the way, just so it's a less lazy kitbash.

[ img ]

Notable changes from the real deal:
  • Note that she's still a DD. This is still a sub-hunter general purpose boat, not an area air-defense platform, even though...
  • She's 8' longer than the real ship, to accommodate a 44-round Mk 26 for ASW weapons and Standard missiles. We don't really have a missile destroyer electronics fit, so though these weapons are kinematically far superior to Sea Sparrow, they're really used more for commonality and stopping power, and to make centerline space for...
  • Three turrets! The US military was pretty into joint project development in this time frame (MBT-70, for example), so after much hemming and hawing with Mk 42, I went with the Oto Compact. Though it wasn't specifically my aim with this project, I really like how the one forward, two aft feels like a more continuous development of the Forrest Shermans.
  • RAM on either side of a 5/54 trunnion was very much a real concept (Google has a good patent document).
  • Electronics is the least changed, although we moved some things around. It's essentially a Hayler (i.e., SPS-49 instead of SPS-40). This is the real sticking point that keeps us from being a pocket DDG--no 3D radar capability other than hunting a bearing with SPG-60/SPG-51. Mk 23 TAS forward, with the same arcs as the Mk 26, belies the real use for Standard on this hull. It's a short-ish-range self-defense weapon. I'm somewhat over-selling this point--the electronics allow mod-Sprucan to take somewhat better advantage of each missile than a Perry, the latter very much a convoy AAW defense ship, although mod-Sprucan would likely only carry about half as many missiles. Part of it is that I didn't want to have to draw new hull numbers ;)
  • Phalanx mounts move abeam as on a Tico.
  • Just for visual interest, I replaced the lattice masts with towers modeled on a California's.
  • Other minor style upgrades from when this drawing last saw some attention :)
From start to finish this was about a 90 minute job, much less nerd-ass reading and trade studies and interminable switching from A to B to A to B to A... I may try to play with more projects like this.


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heuhen
Post subject: Re: Semi-AU USN Spruance'Posted: October 15th, 2021, 10:09 am
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Interesting concept


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Rainmaker
Post subject: Re: Semi-AU USN Spruance'Posted: October 15th, 2021, 5:19 pm
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The RAM mount on the side of the 5"/54 Otobreda is an interesting concept, this is the first time I've seen it.

As you mentioned, I'm not sure that there's much of a qualitative advantage of fitting three 5" guns on a post-WWII-era destroyer other than the "more guns = better" argument; probably replacing the X turret with either Sea Sparrow or a second MK 26 would give much more of a capability boost, but then you're essentially looking at a real-world Spruance or Kidd - class, respectively.

Other than that, not sure how I feel about the masts - something about the lattice masts just appeals to me more on an aesthetic level, but that's a personal choice.


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erik_t
Post subject: Re: Semi-AU USN Spruance'Posted: October 16th, 2021, 1:28 am
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Rainmaker wrote: *
Other than that, not sure how I feel about the masts - something about the lattice masts just appeals to me more on an aesthetic level, but that's a personal choice.
I agree--again, I only went with these mack-like masts because otherwise the drawing felt too lazy, like cheating. They're not dramatically different from the period USN CGNs or what the RN was up to. It also felt too early for Burke-like LO masts, or rather, that would require me to redraw a hell of a lot more of the boat. To be more explicit (I think I said this on the discord server), I was looking for a casual lazy after-work project with this drawing.


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Hood
Post subject: Re: Semi-AU USN Spruance'Posted: October 16th, 2021, 9:17 am
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I like it, sure three Otobredas looks a little like overkill but it makes an interesting what-if.
I love enclosed masts, if only to avoid the pain of drawing latticework!

I've been thinking of tarting up my old Mississippi class concept (a productionised USN Kidd) recently and this is good inspiration.

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iiradned
Post subject: Re: Semi-AU USN Spruance'Posted: October 16th, 2021, 7:04 pm
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Pretty interesting design.


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acelanceloet
Post subject: Re: Semi-AU USN Spruance'Posted: October 17th, 2021, 11:53 am
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Pretty interesting, but I do have some comments. I do get some of the changes were changes for the sake of changing stuff (not cheating) but I'll note some that I found less plausible then the real world solutions ;) It's a cool drawing though!

- I really think the original locations for both the phalanx and the SLQ-32 were superior where they were in the real life ships. The fore and aft arcs would be better. Tico had the arrangement as placed here because of the directors and SPY-1 deckhouses (and the pilothouse) took up the space where the phalanxes are on the Sprucan and Kidd.
- I was surprised, when I started comparing weights, that with the 3 127mm guns I actually came up with 112 tons of weight while the Mk 71 + Mk 45 + Mk 29 was 132 tons. Still, 2 Mk 45's and an Mk 29 would only be 45 tons, significantly less then what is drawn now. This layout would thus eat up quite a bit of the modernisation margins in the spruance design, but many of these modernisation systems are included in it (the Mk 26 and the Mk 74 FCS, notably) so it seems more doable then I thought on first glance
- I am not entirely certain the hull shading is accurate like this. Good enough for this drawing? sure! just adding this as notification that it needs more work before anyone applies it to the IRL sprucans ;)
- I am really wondering what that SPG-60 is standing on. The air intake housings on the hangar of the spruance before the modifications for the SH-60 were directly at the edge, the walkway around it being there for maintenance/access to the air intake housing on all sides. According to the drawing, you fitted the SPG-60 'in front' of the air intakes and there are still railings ( so space to walk around it) 'in front'.
Personally, I would fix this by putting the SPG-60 closer to midships instead, so behind the air intakes from our viewpoint here.
- I am not certain but I don't think the Mk 26 GMLS could fire the nuclear depth charge version of ASROC.
- I wonder if this ship would take SM-2 or SM-1......

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erik_t
Post subject: Re: Semi-AU USN Spruance'Posted: October 17th, 2021, 4:12 pm
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Pretty much all of this comes down to trying to pull off a drawing in about an hour after work.
  • I agree with your comment about Phalanx and SLQ-32. I think I'll revert to the Kidd layout if I can.
  • I agree on using up margins. I did increase the full load waterline by a foot compared to the real thing ;)
  • Hull shading was totally freehanded and made up--don't use it to update the real drawing! It just looks better than no shading at all IMHO.
  • SPG-60 was a total brainfart on my part. I forgot which intakes and uptakes were port and starboard when I was working on this. It's intended to be located midships. I'll fix this (or more likely move it up onto the aft mast like on Kidd)
  • Mk 26 had nuclear interlocks, which I assume were intended for ASROC.
  • SM-2 was just the missile I could find fastest lol


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rifleman2
Post subject: Re: Semi-AU USN Spruance'Posted: October 19th, 2021, 2:06 pm
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it is an interesting concept.

Would be interesting to see "European" spruance/kidd class challenge


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