|Namesake:||Robert W. Hayler|
|Ordered:||29 September 1979|
|Laid down:||20 October 1980|
|Launched:||2 March 1982|
|Sponsored by:||Nicole Hayler, granddaughter of namesake|
|Acquired:||10 February 1983|
|Commissioned:||5 March 1983|
|Decommissioned:||25 August 2003|
|Struck:||6 April 2004|
|Motto:||Courageous in Conflict|
|Fate:||Sunk as a target, 13 November 2004|
|Class and type:||Spruance class destroyer|
|Displacement:||8,040 (long) tons full load|
|Length:||529 ft (161 m) waterline; 563 ft (172 m) overall|
|Beam:||55 ft (16.8 m)|
|Draft:||29 ft (8.8 m)|
|Propulsion:||4 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, 2 shafts, 80,000 shp (60 MW)|
|Speed:||32.5 knots (60 km/h)|
|Complement:||19 officers, 315 enlisted|
|Aircraft carried:||2 x Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.|
For fiscal year 1978, Congress authorized the production of two additional Spruance-class destroyers, though they funded only one. These were intended to be built as helicopter destroyers (DDH), provided they would not cost more than a standard Spruance-class. Litton-Ingalls completed sketch design work for DDH-997, which moved the helicopter deck aft, stretching the length of the hangar and displacing the Sea Sparrow launcher to the top of the hangar. The design would have accommodated two SH-3 Sea Kings or four smaller SH-60 Seahawk or SH-2 Seasprite helicopters. While the prospective DDH-997 probably wouldn't have cost much more to build than a standard Spruance-class, the detail design and engineering work required before the ship could be built would have been substantial (similar work for the Kidd-class cost $110.8 million). This raised the cost of the DDH substantially above a standard Spruance-class destroyer. While this additional cost might have been justified if the DDH was going to enter series production, it was difficult to justify for a single ship. Accordingly, the Navy built Hayler to the same design as the rest of the class.
Hayler was decommissioned 25 August 2003 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 6 April 2004 and sunk as a target on 13 November 2004, during the 2004 Sink Exercise.
Hayler's crest is representative of Vice Admiral Hayler's inspiring leadership, his dedication to his country, his proficiency as a naval officer, and of the history and traditions of the naval service.
The gold stars on the blue background in the upper area of the shield symbolize the many Pacific Island Campaigns Admiral Hayler participated in as a Commanding Officer, and as a Commander of a cruiser division during World War II. The stars also represent the numerous awards he received, some repeated two and three times. The chevron is a symbol of strength and support, and the blue crosses represent the Admirals's three Navy Crosses, an award for valour exceeded only by the Medal of Honor.
The crossed red battle axes are a symbol of strength and resourcefulness under fire, and represent Admiral Hayler's wartime service. The two stars they bear are in recognition of the Silver and Bronze Stars awarded to Admiral Hayler for valour. The bomb represents naval firepower, gunfire support and anti-aircraft fire, and symbolizes the contributions of Admiral Hayler to the development of naval ordnance at the outbreak of World War II.
The anchor refers to the fleet, and Admiral Hayler's efforts toward its strength and safety. The predominant colors, red, white, and blue, are representative of the national flag, and Admiral Hayler's patriotism and loyalty to the flag and the nation it represents.
The ship’s motto "Courageous in Conflict" exemplifies the ardent professionalism and steadfast leadership that characterized Vice Admiral Hayler’s career and now serves as the watchword to guide HAYLER sailors.
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