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Posted: 11/28/2003 4:10:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/28/2003 4:36:23 PM EDT by Maynard]
I haven't been keeping up to date on Navy happenings and ran across this while reading up on the USS Ronald Reagan.


The final moments of the USS CARON. She was sunk December 4th, 2002, 75nm S. of Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico during explosive test. She was intended to survive these tests and scheduled to be sunk as a target later in 2003, but secondary explosions caused her to sink.


- decommissioned -
- sunk as a target -











General Characteristics: Keel Laid: July 1, 1974

Launched: June 23, 1975


Commissioned: October 1, 1977


Decommissioned: October 10, 2001


Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, West Bank, Pascagoula, Miss.


Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines

Propellers: two


Blades on each Propeller: five


Length: 564,3 feet (172 meters)


Beam: 55,1 feet (16.8 meters)


Draft: 28,9 feet (8.8 meters)


Displacement: approx. 9,200 tons full load


Speed: 30+ knots


Aircraft: one SH-60B Seahawk (LAMPS 3)


Armament: two Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight guns, one Mk 41 VLS for Tomahawk, ASROC and Standard missiles, Mk 46 torpedoes (two triple tube mounts), Harpoon missile launchers, one Sea Sparrow launcher, one Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) System, two 20mm Phalanx CIWS

Crew: approx. 340


Rest easy DD970.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 4:23:13 PM EDT
Damn that sucks.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 4:27:41 PM EDT
A bad end for any warship.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 4:30:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/28/2003 4:35:20 PM EDT by sgtstinger]
All I can see is 4 [red]X[/red]'s... Can somebody fix the pictures, Please? EDITED TO ADD: I was able to see the pictures by copying & pasting the web address for each picture into my web browser.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 4:31:19 PM EDT
Sorry for your loss..........
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 4:34:51 PM EDT
Pics fixed.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 4:45:31 PM EDT
Hey...the scrappers won't get her. That's something. I have NO CLUE as to how deep the water would be in that area. Before I suggest it's now a great diver's site, someone tell me how deep that part of the ocean probably is. Do my eyes deceive me, or are the white Phalanx domes still in place? Did this get sunk while still armed? I've got a BETTER idea: Perform explosive tests on retired ships from the former Soviet Union, not on OUR own hardware when there's a danger of losing it in the process! I say, refit our ships and keep 'em running until the ship's structure is just flat worn out. CJ
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 4:49:05 PM EDT
They are sinking 25 year old ships while there are still mothballed WW2 ships floating ? Does that make any sense?I would think they'd sink the older stuff first.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 4:49:39 PM EDT
I hope it's shallow enough to be divable. Ship diving is a great way to remember these old boats.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 4:52:03 PM EDT
What a shame. Don't we have less than 300 ships in the Navy now? BobK
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 4:52:26 PM EDT
The CIWS' appears to be in place along with the stern 5". Can't see if the bow 5" is still there.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 4:57:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BOBK48: What a shame. Don't we have less than 300 ships in the Navy now? BobK
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IIRC, we are at 294 ships in service. The least amount of ships since WWI.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 5:01:30 PM EDT
Good riddance. My XO was the CHENG on her several years ago. She was a POS. At least the Navy got something of value out of her, a lesson learned.
Do my eyes deceive me, or are the white Phalanx domes still in place? Did this get sunk while still armed?
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Yep, the CIWS systems were still there. Although, most things of value were already stripped. The Mk 15 Phalanx that were onboard, aka Close In Weapons System or CIWS, were the Block 0 variety and not very useful except where the parts could be used to fix broken Block I and Block IB systems. Those parts were already gone. Trust me we checked. [;D]
I've got a BETTER idea: Perform explosive tests on retired ships from the former Soviet Union, not on OUR own hardware when there's a danger of losing it in the process!
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Except that testing on Russian ships proves nothing. They aren't built the same way our ships our. Ours are believed to be much more survivable.
I say, refit our ships and keep 'em running until the ship's structure is just flat worn out.
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They are flat worn out. The ships are at the end of their useable lifespan. Most ships are designed with a 30 year life cyle in mind. The cost/benefit doesn't favor keeping a Sprucan in service. Especially, since their combat systems are outdated, and that's where the big money is.
They are sinking 25 year old ships while there are still mothballed WW2 ships floating ? Does that make any sense?I would think they'd sink the older stuff first.
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The older stuff, ie the James River fleet, are being sold to the Brits to scrap. Thank the enviromentalists for that. You see they have PCBs onboard, and we aren't allowed to sink them. Might harm the enviroment and all. I saw CARON in Roosy Roads this time last year, right before she was towed out to be tested on. We returned to home port before I heard the testing didn't go so well. My understanding is her testing was in order to develop better damage control systems for the DD(x)/DD21 where a ship of the same size will only be manned by 1/3 the crew. The need for more automated systems becomes obvious.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 5:19:48 PM EDT
What made those bitty holes in the SIDE under the waterline? They expected the unmanned ship to survive that?
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 5:53:57 PM EDT
As mentioned before...this test was a complete Golf Foxtrot. The test was designed to test the capabilities of a new automated fire suppression system...as stated, for the new DD(X), which is now in development. The ship was stripped of much of her equipment but not all, since her loss was not anticipated. So sure were the test leaders that they failed to remotely telemeter the data. Had they correctly anticipated the risk, I'm sure they would have linked the video, RF and IR data off the test platform. By NOT saving this information, they were unable to ascertain whether or not the automated fire suppression system worked at all...meaning all the preparation and execution money has been wasted. The exact cause of the secondary explosions...the unintended ones, are not known..at least they have yet to be made public. Some of us in my office are former and retired SWOs who served in Spruance class ships. We discussed ex-Caron's loss at some length and we can't figure out for certain what happened to let the water into the people tank. There are what appear to be fairly large holes on her side, in an area of the hull where you would find the large saddle fuel tanks. Explosions there would not necessarily cause her loss since the fuel tanks on a DD 963 class are free-flowing. They are open to the sea at the bottom of the tanks. When the ship is loaded with gas, she actually rides a bit higher and displaces a bit less. As fuel is burned off, the sea water rises. Before you reach the mixing/emulsified layer of fuel/water, you always refuel so as not to suck seawater into your jets. LM-2500s don't like that. For that reason, punching a hole in the tank area (And they are VERY large along the sides.) would not cause her loss. If the secondary caused a breach in an inner ready-service tank, and that tank had some fuel residue remaining and/or not been gas-freed, then they might have caused the fumes to detonate...but again, I doubt it. The last scenario is that somehow, there were some HE sources, like a magazine that were affected. That ought not to have happened, since before a ship is decommissioned, all explosives and ammo are removed. I'm also not sure if they had one or more fire pumps running and if the firemain loop was operational as part of the test. If that system was up...and they broke it wide open...then she would have filled up pretty fast. In any case, before the test data takers could reboard, they noted the unanticipated and very unwanted explosions, the sudden list and did not return aboard to get their data. I figure that really gave someone a giant redass.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 11:01:33 PM EDT
There was an [i]OLD[/i] TV series way back when, maybe at the start of the 1960’s, that had to do with the Post Korea, Pre Viet Nam Navy. The subject of this episode is there is a World War II ship destined for the scrap yard. Its former commander wants the ship to be used for target practice instead. To sink with Honor under the blows of Naval Gunfire and not the torched into a lowly scrap of iron. There are plans for another ship to be used as practice instead. In the end the Old Skipper wins out. Is it better to be sunk under Glory than to be sold for scrap?
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 11:49:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dinkydow: A bad end for any warship.
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HELL NO! That's the way a warship should go down, sure as hell gets being sold for scrap and getting torched apart.
Link Posted: 11/28/2003 11:52:24 PM EDT
It's always a shame to see a US warship sunk, but the sprucans are a very dated platform... I'm surprised they didn't do the same to my old boat, an OHP class frigate; at least the Spruance's could carry helos!
Link Posted: 12/6/2003 10:31:00 PM EDT
Hell I was on a Belknap and it's still floating. Stripped but floating. The Spruances were kind of odd birds, first gas turbine ships, unfortunately they went through a bunch of money saving changes after the class was designed and from what I recall talking to guys that served on the first few that made it out to the PacFlt they were squirrely in operation. Their manning was still being worked out. I know the 1st. Lt. on the Paul Foster was well short of the count needed to adequately maintain the topside areas normally assigned to a First Division and perform all the Deck Division duties. I had 63 non-rates and he had 22 or so. Later when I was NTDS Officer we carried ComDesRon 9 (the eval squadron) for some reason and his Staff Ops type kept asking when we were going to take NTDS down to reload it. "Well Sir we aren't, it'll keep running until we shut down at mooring." They were used to reloading a few times a day on the Spruances. They were good a starting point for learning how to build them right as the last few classes to come out show.
Link Posted: 12/6/2003 10:40:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Maynard: Pics fixed.
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Red x's again.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 6:15:49 AM EDT
Ditto to Sherm8404
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 7:00:27 AM EDT
That's becuase the pictures are hosted on a POS MSN board. Get thee the fuck off of MSN.
Originally Posted By sherm8404: Red x's again.
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Link Posted: 12/7/2003 7:12:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By LWilde: Explosions there would not necessarily cause her loss since the fuel tanks on a DD 963 class are free-flowing. They are open to the sea at the bottom of the tanks. When the ship is loaded with gas, she actually rides a bit higher and displaces a bit less. As fuel is burned off, the sea water rises. Before you reach the mixing/emulsified layer of fuel/water, you always refuel so as not to suck seawater into your jets.
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Lemme get this straight? The tanks are bottomless? HTF does the fuel stay in there when you're underway, I know it's lighter than water but what about turbulence and stuff? That seems a little dumb to me.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 7:26:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By QuietShootr:
Originally Posted By LWilde: Explosions there would not necessarily cause her loss since the fuel tanks on a DD 963 class are free-flowing. They are open to the sea at the bottom of the tanks. When the ship is loaded with gas, she actually rides a bit higher and displaces a bit less. As fuel is burned off, the sea water rises. Before you reach the mixing/emulsified layer of fuel/water, you always refuel so as not to suck seawater into your jets.
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Lemme get this straight? The tanks are bottomless? HTF does the fuel stay in there when you're underway, I know it's lighter than water but what about turbulence and stuff? That seems a little dumb to me.
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No, I think the point is there is free access to the tanks via a couple of 4" pipes leading below the water line to the ocean. it isn't a big freaking hole. It is actually a pretty smart idea.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 7:31:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By KA3B: That's becuase the pictures are hosted on a POS MSN board. Get thee the fuck off of MSN.
Originally Posted By sherm8404: Red x's again.
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Actually, it's because I nuked them. I didn't expect this thread to resurface. I use MSN for free pic hosting, nothing more and they've been fine for what I use them for. I'd be happy to hear suggestions on another source for pic hosting.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 7:33:10 AM EDT
I'll put them back up sometime today if you would like. In the meantime: [url]http://navysite.de/dd/dd970.htm[/url] Pics are at the bottom
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 7:39:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/7/2003 7:40:13 AM EDT by hawk1]
More pics; [img]http://navysite.de/dd/dd970_4.jpg[/img] [img]http://navysite.de/dd/dd970_5.jpg[/img] [img]http://navysite.de/dd/dd970_6.jpg[/img] [img]http://navysite.de/dd/dd970_7.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 9:57:20 AM EDT
Better than what happened to my first ship: USS Valdez FF 1096 (Knox class) Authorized: August 25, 1966 Builder: Avondale Laid Down: June 30, 1972 Launched: March 24, 1973 Commissioned: July 27, 1974 Decommissioned: December 16, 1991 [b]Fate: Sold to Tiawan April 29, 1998[/b] Completed re-fit in Charleston, SC July, 1999
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 10:02:03 AM EDT
Better than what happened to my first ship: USS Valdez FF 1096 (Knox class) Authorized: August 25, 1966 Builder: Avondale Laid Down: June 30, 1972 Launched: March 24, 1973 Commissioned: July 27, 1974 Decommissioned: December 16, 1991 Fate: Sold to Tiawan April 29, 1998 Completed re-fit in Charleston, SC July, 1999
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You mean TAIWAN, don't you? What's so bad about that? They take good care of their stuff. They replaced a bunch of OLD cans (WWII-vintage Fletcher and Sumner class FRAM can stuff) with these Knox class cans. Take a look at that R.O.C. boat in a few years and you'll be quite surprised at how good its condition is.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 10:22:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By QuietShootr:
Originally Posted By LWilde: Explosions there would not necessarily cause her loss since the fuel tanks on a DD 963 class are free-flowing. They are open to the sea at the bottom of the tanks. When the ship is loaded with gas, she actually rides a bit higher and displaces a bit less. As fuel is burned off, the sea water rises. Before you reach the mixing/emulsified layer of fuel/water, you always refuel so as not to suck seawater into your jets.
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Lemme get this straight? The tanks are bottomless? HTF does the fuel stay in there when you're underway, I know it's lighter than water but what about turbulence and stuff? That seems a little dumb to me.
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Yes, the tanks are open to the sea at the bottom of the hull. Actually there is very little turbulence since there is virtually no sluicing around due to free liquid effect. The tanks are ALWAYS full of liquid...and the mix is dependent upon how much gas you are carrying. As the fuel burns off, the ship gets a bit lower in the water as water replaces fuel and your displacement goes up a bit. You must also remember, the fuel inside the ship is not permitted to get too close to the openings in the tank. For safety reasons, there are very large overboard discharges just above the waterline. If a tank is overfilled or accidentally pressed up for some dumb reason (It happened to me once!) the fuel goes overboard. FWIW, I served in four classes of DD/DDGs and the Spruance class was by far the best ship in most catagories. The Adams class DDG was the prettiest, easiest to drive and best handling, and after the mid-life upgrades in the early '80s (to only three though) was the most combat-capable. For sweet living and easy riding, the Spru-cans were simply wonderful. I especially loved the engineering plant. Four jets instead of four boilers certainly eased our workload and made getting underway SOOOOOO much easier. No main steam to deal with...no blown tubes, no loss of vacuum, no 18-24 hour warm up, no carryover, no blown steam lines, no imploded DFT...and NO dead BTs or MMs. Just walk aboard, set the sea detail, when fully manned up and singled up, start the jets and take in the brow. Easiest sea details I have ever seen. This thread just got 'jacked...! Anyway, ex-CARON should not have been lost. Those boys screwed the pooch on that op.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 4:39:32 PM EDT
Very interesting about the fuel tanks that are open at the bottom. I would not have guessed that. I guess it makes perfect sense, and I rather doubt that even an enemy UDT man would choose to swim up into those tanks when they're full of fuel, no matter what the mission. I'd have to wonder about the suction effect pulling fuel out of the tanks when the ship is under way at higher speeds. I'd have guessed that this would happen, but apparently it's designed not to. How big are the vent holes, anyway? And are they at least covered with screens or grates? Of course you won't answer if you CAN'T. Fine. Naval engineering is very much a speciality subject. Us landlubbers would probably be surprised many times over if shown the various engineering problems and solutions that are found only on ships. I'm still trying to get over the part that says that the longer the ship, the greater its top speed potential. CJ
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 6:26:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cmjohnson: Very interesting about the fuel tanks that are open at the bottom. I would not have guessed that. I guess it makes perfect sense, and I rather doubt that even an enemy UDT man would choose to swim up into those tanks when they're full of fuel, no matter what the mission. I'd have to wonder about the suction effect pulling fuel out of the tanks when the ship is under way at higher speeds. I'd have guessed that this would happen, but apparently it's designed not to. How big are the vent holes, anyway? And are they at least covered with screens or grates? Of course you won't answer if you CAN'T. Fine. Naval engineering is very much a speciality subject. Us landlubbers would probably be surprised many times over if shown the various engineering problems and solutions that are found only on ships. I'm still trying to get over the part that says that the longer the ship, the greater its top speed potential. CJ
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Yea...the tank holes have grates. I also left out a rather important detail when I first described the tankage and how the fuel is used up. There are actually another set of tanks for each engineering plant. These are the "service" tanks. Fuel is pumped from the main compensated tanks into the service tanks after being treated to remove all H2O and impurities, before being pumped to the engines. Oh...and it's not just the length of the ship...but the ratio of length to beam.
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