KIDD class are the most powerful multi-purpose destroyers in the fleet. The
four ships of this class, originally designed for sale to the then-friendly
Iranian Navy, are unique among US Warships, in that it combines the combat
systems capability of the former VIRGINIA-class cruisers with the proven
anti-submarine warfare qualities of a SPRUANCE-class destroyer. The four Kidd
class guided missile destroyers are similar to the Spruance class destroyers,
but have greater displacement and improved combat systems. The ships are
built on the same hull as the Spruance destroyers, though without the later's
extensive offensive capability.
The four destroyers of the Kidd class were originally built for the Shah of
Iran, and were acquired by the US Navy following the Shah's overthrow in
1979. The US Navy acquired them in 1981 and 1982 after they were canceled by
the succeeding Iranian government. For this reason they are often referred to
as the "Ayatollah class".
On 01 December 1998 the Department of Defense announced that the Government
of Greece had requested a possible combined lease/sale arrangement of four
KIDD Class Guided Missile Destroyers and related munition items and services
relating to "hot ship" turnover of one KIDD Class destroyer,
"cold ship" transfer reactivations for three KIDD Class destroyers
from the US Navy.
Built for action in the Persian Gulf, these ships are oriented for general
purpose operations rather than specialized anti-submarine war.These ships
feature advanced air-intake and filtration systems in order to handle dust
and sand prevailing in Persian Gulf operating area as well as greater
air-conditioning capacity. With the ability to fire surface-to-air missiles
in support of Aegis cruisers, which, if necessary, can assume control of the
destroyer's missiles. The guided-missile destroyers are outfitted with
air-defense radar that allows them to command a wide ocean area. They can
also support amphibious landing forces.
KIDD-class armaments include the New Threat Upgrade (NTU) anti-air warfare
(AAW) system to improve their anti-air warfare performance against the
technologically advanced threat expected into the 21st century, as well as
two Mk 26 launchers for Standard surface-to-air missiles, and SQS-58 hull
mounted active sonar, ASROC, eight Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles, two
five-inch guns and hangar facilities for one Lamps Mk 1 helicopter.
The most formidable warship of her size ever to patrol the world's oceans,
blending the best features of the SPRUANCE Class destroyers with the combat
system of the VIRGINIA Class nuclear cruisers to produce a ship with unique
A ship so quiet, and an ASW system so capable, that she operates offensively
The most sophisticated medium-range AAW systems in the Fleet, quick-reacting
and highly accurate, with the capability for today's air defense environment
and the growth potential for tomorrow's.
An exceptionally reliable and responsive engineering plant.
A deadly surface-to-surface weapons capability.
These characteristics make KIDD a triple-threat, one of the few truly
multi-mission ships, able to operate offensively, to deal with simultaneous
air, surface, and sub-surface attacks.
KIDD's propulsion system is an automated, gas turbine installation, which can
be controlled from either the Pilot House or the Central Control Station. The
system is located in two main engine rooms, each containing two LM-2500
marine gas turbines. The two LM-2500s are coupled through clutches and locked
train, double helical, double reduction gears to drive a controllable,
reversible pitch propeller. With all four turbines on line and both shafts
driving, the plant can deliver 80,000 shaft horsepower, for a top speed in
excess of 30 knots.
KIDD's combat system is her complement of weapons and electronics subsystems
and equipment, which collectively enables her to carry out combat missions.
AAW: Anti-Air Warfare
In air engagements, initial target detection is usually provided by the
long-range air search radar. This is a three- dimensional,
electronically-stabilized, computer-controlled radar, which includes an
Automatic Detection and Tracking (ADT) capability. Target data is
transferred, automatically or manually, to the computer of the Naval Tactical
Data System (NTDS). NTDS is the heart of the combat system, tying together
the various subsystems, collecting and processing information from ship
sensors, and from off-ship sensors, via radio digital data links. From NTDS,
air targets are sent to one of the following weapons for engagement:
For long-range engagements, to Combat Air Patrol (CAP) aircraft.
For medium-range engagements, to either of the TARTAR D Missile Systems.
For short-range engagements, to either of the Gun Weapon Systems.
For very close-in engagements, to the Vulcan-Phalanx Close-In Weapons System
(CIWS). The CIWS consists of two mounts (port and starboard), each consisting
of a fire control system and a Gatling- type machine gun. The CIWS
automatically searches for, acquires, and destroys air targets at close
The primary ASW sensors are the ship-mounted SONAR and a variety of sensors
carried by ASW aircraft. The KIDD's long-range SONAR is capable of detecting,
classifying and tracking underwater targets. Data from the SONAR is provided
to the Underwater Fire Control System (UFCS) and to NTDS for display and
decision. The UFCS computes orders for launching torpedoes from the torpedo
tubes, for firing Anti-Submarine Rocket (ASROC) torpedoes from the missiles
launcher, and for weapon release points for ASW aircraft. The ship can carry
two Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Helicopters. These provide an
extended localization and weapon delivery capability in ASW, and expanded
surveillance against anti-ship missile threats.
ASUW: Anti-Surface Warfare
The surface search radar, and the radar of the Gun Fire Control System, are
the primary active sensors for surface surveillance and detection. Surface
targets can be engaged by one of the following subsystems:
Harpoon Surface-to-Surface Missiles are capable of over- the-horizon attacks
on surface targets. The Harpoon Weapon System consists of two sets of
four-canister launchers, and a fire control system for designating targets to
The TARTAR-D System, used in the surface mode, is capable of medium-range
attacks on surface targets.
The Gun Weapon System can engage targets at shorter range. Controlled by the
Gun Fire Control System (GFCS), the 5" guns can engage one or two
targets out to the ballistic limits of 5" ammunition.
Against very close-in surface targets, the CIWS can be fired in surface mode.
ELW: Electronic Warfare
The ship's Electronic Warfare Sensor is designated as an anti-ship missile
defense sensor. It provides rapid and automatic detection, processing, and
analysis of enemy electronic emissions. It is used with four deck-mounted
Super Rapid-Blooming Off-board Chaff (SRBOC) mortar-type launchers, which
provide defense against homing missiles by creating deceptive chaff targets.
KIDD has a modern, automated communications system. For Fleet Broadcast
Traffic, the Naval Modular Automated Communication System (NAVMACS) A-Plus
uses a computer for automated message processing. NAVMACS is joined with a
satellite communications transceiver and a satellite receiver to provide
high-speed, low- interference information transfer via satellite links. For
two-way tactical communications, KIDD carries a full range of modern UHF,
VHF, and HF radio equipment.
Despite their formidable combat capabilities, the four units of this class
were decommissioned with almost half their service life remaining. At the
same time, Ingalls Shipbuilding Inc. in Pascagoula, MS announced an $87
million DoD contract to upgrade the four Kidd-class destroyers, in
preparation for sale to a foreign customer. The KIDD and CALLAGHAN were
decommissioned in March, after only 17 years in service. The SCOTT was
decommissioned in December 1998, and the CHANDLER was prematurely
decommissioned in September 1999.
Greece's on-again/off-again plans to purchase the four Kidd-class
guided-missile destroyers appeared on with the 01 December 1998 announcement
by the US Department of Defense the Government of Greece had requested a possible
combined lease/sale arrangement of four KIDD Class Guided Missile Destroyers
and related munition items and services. The four ex-US Navy Charles F. Adams
(DDG-2)-class destroyers were to be retired from the Hellenic Navy to provide
crews for the Kidds. The announcement came at a time when tensions between
Greece and Turkey were rising over Cyprus. The deal called for the "hot
ship" turnover of one KIDD Class destroyer, "cold ship"
transfer reactivations for three KIDD Class destroyers [USS Kidd (DDG-993),
USS Callaghan (DDG-994), and USS Scott (DDG-995)] from the US Navy. These
ships have been withdrawn from active US Navy service, and are scheduled for
transfer under the Security Assistance Program (SAP). In November 1999,
Greece finally turned down the US offer of the four Kidd-class destroyers.
Initially, it appeared that Greece might order two additional MEKO 200
frigates, stretched to accommodate Mk 41 vertical-launch missile cells, along
with a class of four 1,200-ton corvettes. Greece sought instead to purchase a
pair of retiring Dutch Kortenaer-class frigates, adding to the six that
already serve the Greek Navy.
Taiwan announced in early 2001 that it was seeking to buy the four Kidd-class
DDGs, and a price of $732 million was reportedly established. Although the
ships will require extensive re-work, they would provide the Republic of
China Navy with a significant air-defense capability.