Commander Ghiradella's Air-Capable Spruance


Donald McKelvy
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14 August 2009
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Commander Ghiradella's Air-Capable Spruance was a proposal for a modified flight deck Spruance-class destroyer that appeared in the article "Maintaining a Western Carrier Capability" in the journal US Naval Institute Proceedings, July 1978. Some references incorrectly identify this design as the Grumman/Sante Fe Air-Capable Spruance proposal or confuse it as a proposal for USS Hayler DDH-997 (Destroyer, Helicopter) or Flight Deck Spruance. Thank you TomS for your help in identifying this drawing.

Length Over All (LOA): 606 feet
Beam (hull and sponsor): 66 feet
Overall beam (width) with the ducted uptakes and angled fight deck: 87 feet

Fight deck length: 470 feet and can support simultaneous takeoff of 5 medium-sized helicopters

Weapons: 1- 5 inch/54 dual purpose gun
4-30 mm General Electric GAU 8 (a) guns
1 Harpoon launcher (An ASROC could be substitute)
1 Basic point defense missile system

Elevator measures: 62 x 26 feet

Embarked aircraft: 12 medium-sized helicopters or 8 medium-sized helicopters and 4 Harrier-type aircraft

Links to scans of the original article:


  • CommanderGhiradellaAirCapableSpruance.JPG
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Artist impression of Commander Ghiradella's Air-Capable Spruance drawn by "shiplover" from Shipbucket. Incorrectly identified as Grumman Sante Fe Air-Capable Spruance Design.

Really interesting, a sort of "American Kiev Class".....
This means that US NAVY wanted to acquire Harriers (or AV-8As)?
Or the VTOL carried component was to be provided by Marines as actually happens?

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