Есмінець USS Merrill (DD-976)

Есмінець USS Merrill (DD-976) 0Есмінець USS Merrill (DD-976) 1Есмінець USS Merrill (DD-976) 2


Основна інформація

Країна будівництва:
Компанія будівник:
Спущений на воду:
Знятий з експлуатації:
Sunk as target, 1 August 2003

Головні розміри

8 040 т
161 м
16.8 м
8.8 м


Комбінована установка:
Силова установка:
  • 4 * General Electric LM2500 gas turbines
  • 2 * shafts, 80,000 shp (60 MW)
32.5 вуз
Дальність плавання:
6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)



Бойові сили та засоби

  • AN/SPS-40 air search radar
  • AN/SPG-60 fire control radar
  • AN/SPS-55 surface search radar
  • AN/SPQ-9 gun fire control radar
  • Mark 23 TAS automatic detection and tracking radar
  • AN/SPS-65 Missile fire control radar
  • AN/SQS-53 bow mounted Active sonar
  • AN/SQR-19 TACTAS towed array Passive sonar
  • Naval Tactical Data System
  • AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare System
  • AN/SLQ-25 Nixie Torpedo Countermeasures
  • Mark 36 SRBOC Decoy Launching System
  • AN/SLQ-49 Inflatable Decoys
  • 2 * 5 in (127 mm) 54 calibre Mark 45 dual purpose guns
  • 2 * 20 mm Phalanx CIWS Mark 15 guns
  • 1 * 8 cell ASROC launcher (removed)
  • 1 * 8 cell NATO Sea Sparrow Mark 29 missile launcher
  • 2 * quadruple Harpoon missile canisters
  • 2 * Mark 32 triple 12.75 in (324 mm) torpedo tubes (Mk 46 torpedoes)
  • 2 * quadruple Armored Box Launcher (ABL) Mark 43 Tomahawk missile launchers
  • 2 * Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters

The USS Merrill (DD-976), honoring Rear Admiral Aaron Stanton Merrill USN (1890–1961), served as a Spruance-class destroyer that joined the United States Navy in 1978. Acting as the Navy's assessment platform for the Tomahawk cruise missile, the destroyer played a significant role in Operation Earnest Will during the 1980s in the Persian Gulf amid heightened tensions with Iran. Her service culminated in decommissioning in 1998. She was utilized as a target vessel in 2003 and subsequently sunk off Hawaii in the same year.

Laid down on 16 June 1975 by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries at Pascagoula, Mississippi, Merrill was launched on 1 September 1976 and commissioned on 11 March 1978.

During a Western Pacific Ocean deployment on 21 August 1980, Merrill carried out a rescue mission, saving 62 Vietnamese refugees over 200 miles (320 km) southeast of Saigon. Following this, Merrill became a test platform for the Navy's Tomahawk Cruise Missile Program, meriting the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation. In this role, she abstained from joining the Pacific Fleet's deployment rotation.

In 1986, acting as the flagship for Destroyer Squadron 21 (COMDESRON 21), Merrill deployed to the Western Pacific as part of Battle Group Romeo, featuring the battleship New Jersey. This was a significant deployment, marking the first Battleship Battle Group voyage since World War II, with carriers previously assuming this role.

In 1989, Merrill embarked on a Middle East deployment, serving under Joint Task Force Middle East, supporting Operation Earnest Will. Returning to San Diego in May 1990, Merrill hosted the Soviet Navy in August 1990.

Assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group, Merrill redeployed to the Middle East in 1991, participating in Operation Fiery Vigil in June 1991. She became the flagship for coalition minesweeping forces in the Persian Gulf post the Gulf War ceasefire, visiting Kuwait City as the second warship after the Iraqi invasion.

In September 1992, Merrill underwent an extensive overhaul at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, adding an entire level to the ship for CIWS control computers, upgrading radar system control panels, and applying Radar Absorbent Material (RAM) across the ship, a pioneering endeavor for a destroyer. Post the closure of Long Beach, Merrill moved to San Diego Naval Base in 1994 for further RAM deployment and testing, aiming to reduce the ship's radar visibility.

In 1995, as part of the Abraham Lincoln battle group, Merrill engaged in multinational operations across the Pacific, Indian Oceans, and the Persian Gulf. The group maintained a vigilant watch on merchant shipping going to and from Iraq, interrogating and boarding numerous vessels for cargo verification.

Reassigned to Destroyer Squadron 7 in July 1995 amid the Pacific Fleet's surface ship reorganization, Merrill underwent the PACJTFEX 97-1 exercise in February 1997 off the Southern California coast. This intensive exercise involved various military units, culminating in amphibious operations at Camp Pendleton, California.

Merrill, deployed with the Constellation battle group, concluded its routine six-month deployment in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, engaging in high tempo operations and joint exercises with allied forces, ending its tour with a joint-combined exercise with Pakistani Armed Forces.

Ultimately, Merrill was decommissioned and struck from the Navy registry on 26 March 1998, awaiting disposal at Pearl Harbor Naval Intermediate Ship Maintenance Facility. On 1 August 2003, she was intentionally sunk as a target northwest of Hawaii and now rests at 22°43′53″N 160°29′23″W.

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