Charles F. Adams-class destroyer
USS Charles F. Adams
|Name:||Charles F. Adams class|
|Preceded by:||Farragut class|
|Succeeded by:||Spruance class|
|Type:||Guided missile destroyer|
|Length:||437 ft (133 m)|
|Beam:||47 ft (14 m)|
|Draft:||15 ft (4.6 m)|
|Speed:||33 knots (61 km/h)|
|Range:||4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h)|
The Charles F. Adams class is a ship class of 29 guided missile destroyers 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 decomissioning
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 will open as a museum ship on November 11, 2016. 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
|Ship name||Hull no.||Commission–
|Charles F. Adams||DDG-2||1960–1990||Museum hold|||
|Claude V. Ricketts||DDG-5||1962–1989||Scrapped|||
|Henry B. Wilson||DDG-7||1960–1989||Sunk as target|||
|Lynde McCormick||DDG-8||1961–1991||Sunk as target|||
|Towers||DDG-9||1961–1990||Sunk as target|||
|Hoel||DDG-13||1962–1990||Converted to power barge, then scrapped|||
|Buchanan||DDG-14||1962–1991||Sunk as target|||
|Berkeley||DDG-15||1962–1992||Sold to Greece as Themistocles (D221), scrapped later|||
|Joseph Strauss||DDG-16||1963–1990||Sold to Greece as Formion (D220), scrapped later|||
|Semmes||DDG-18||1962–1991||Sold to Greece as Kimon (D218), scrapped 2006|||
|Goldsborough||DDG-20||1963–1993||Sold to Australia as a parts hulk, scrapped later.|||
|Benjamin Stoddert||DDG-22||1964–1991||Sank while under tow en route for scrapping|||
|Richard E. Byrd||DDG-23||1964–1990||Sold to Greece for parts, sunk as target later|||
|Waddell||DDG-24||1964–1992||Sold to Greece as Nearchos (D219), sunk as target later|||
Four destroyers were transferred to the Hellenic Navy;
- Kimon (D218) (formerly USS Semmes)
- Nearchos (D219) (formerly USS Waddell)
- Formion (D220) (formerly USS Joseph Strauss)
- Themistocles (D221) (formerly USS Berkeley)
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.
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:
- The Farragut class was built at roughly the same time, but they were classified as frigates until 1975.
- Blackman, Raymond V. B. Jane's Fighting Ships (1970/71) p.437
- Polmar, Norman "The U.S. Navy: Shipboard Radars" United States Naval Institute Proceedings December 1978 p.144
- Polmar, Norman "The U.S. Navy: Shipboard Radars" United States Naval Institute Proceedings December 1978 p.145
- Polmar, Norman "The U.S. Navy: Sonars, Part 1" United States Naval Institute Proceedings July 1981 p.119
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charles F. Adams class destroyers.|
- D-186 FGS Mölders, Deutsches Marine Museum, Wilhelmshaven Germany
- DDG-38 HMAS Perth, Artificial Dive Reef, Albany Australia
- DDG-2 USS Charles F. Adams, Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association, Jacksonville Florida
- Adams Class Veterans Association
- Charles F. Adams-class guided missile destroyers at Destroyer History Foundation