|Builders:||Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi|
|Preceded by:||Spruance-class destroyer|
|Succeeded by:||Arleigh Burke-class destroyer|
|Active:||4 (Republic of China Navy)|
|Length:||563 ft (172 m)|
|Beam:||55 ft (17 m)|
|Draught:||31.5 ft (9.6 m)|
|Propulsion:||4 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, 2 shafts, 80,000 shp (60 MW)|
|Speed:||33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph)|
|Aircraft carried:||2 SH-60B/S-70C(M)-1/2 LAMPS III helicopters|
|Aviation facilities:||Flight deck and enclosed hangar for up to two medium-lift helicopters|
The Kidd-class guided missile destroyers (DDGs) were a series of four warships based on the Spruance class destroyers. The Kidds were designed as more advanced multipurpose ships, in contrast to their predecessor's focus on anti-submarine warfare, adding considerably enhanced anti-aircraft capabilities. Originally ordered for the former Imperial Iranian Navy, the contracts were canceled when the 1979 Iranian Revolution began, and the ships were completed for the U.S. Navy. Because they were equipped with heavy-duty air conditioning and other features that made them suitable in hot climates, they tended to be used in the Middle East, specifically the Persian Gulf itself. During their service with the U.S. Navy from the 1980s to the late 1990s, the ships were popularly known as the "Ayatollah" or "dead admiral" class. They were decommissioned and sold to Taiwan, now being known as the Kee Lung-class.
These ships were originally ordered by the last Shah (king) of Iran for service in the Persian Gulf, in an air defence role. The Shah was overthrown in the Iranian Revolution, prior to Iran accepting delivery of the ships, causing the United States Navy to integrate the vessels into its own fleet.
- USS Kidd (DDG-993) was named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who died on the bridge of his flagship, the USS Arizona (BB-39), during the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.
- USS Callaghan (DDG-994) was named after Rear Admiral Daniel Callaghan, who was killed during a surface action at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, 13 November 1942, aboard the USS San Francisco (CA-38).
- USS Scott (DDG-995) was named after Rear Admiral Norman Scott, who was killed during the same surface action that killed Admiral Callaghan at the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, aboard the USS Atlanta (CL-51).
- USS Chandler (DDG-996) was named after Rear Admiral Theodore Chandler, who died on 7 January 1945, as a result of burns received from a kamikaze crashing into his flagship, the USS Louisville (CA-28), the previous day.
In 1988–90, the Kidds’ received the “New Threat Upgrade”, including a new superstructure and heavier mainmast cooperative engagement with Aegis Ticonderoga-class cruisers, which could control the Kidds’ surface-to-air missiles while they remained electronically silent. However, the arrival of the Aegis-equipped Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, which were more effective and cost-efficient, led to the accelerated retirement of the Spruance and Kidd classes, despite their recent modifications (including 24 members of the Spruance class receiving a 61-cell Vertical Launch System for Tomahawk missiles).
All four ships were decommissioned from the U.S. Navy in the late 1990s, and were initially offered for sale to Australia in 1997 for A$30 million each. In 1999, the offer was rejected, based on extensive problems the Royal Australian Navy had encountered during the acquisition of two surplus Newport class tank landing ships from the U.S. Navy in 1994. After the Australian refusal, the four ships were offered to Greece, which also refused.
Sale and reactivation
In 2001, the U.S. authorized the reactivation and sale of all four ships to Taiwan. All four have been transferred to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy under the Kuang Hua VII program. They were sold for a total price of US$732 million with upgraded hardware, overhaul, activation, and training, included a reduced missile loadout of 148 SM-2 Block IIIA and 32 RGM-84L Block II Harpoon anti-ship missiles. The reactivation was done in Charleston, South Carolina, by VSE/BAV.
Kee Lung-class destroyers
The first two ships, ex-Scott and ex-Callaghan, arrived at Su-ao, a military port in eastern Taiwan, in December 2005, and were named Kee Lung (DDG-1801) and Su Ao (DDG-1802) in a commissioning ceremony on 17 December 2005. Following the tradition of ship class naming, ROCN has referred these vessels as Kee Lung class destroyers. The remaining two units, ex-Kidd and ex-Chandler, were delivered in 2006, and named Tso Ying (DDG-1803) and Ma Kong (DDG-1805), respectively.
The opposition-led Legislature Yuan originally allocated only enough money to purchase half of the SM-2 missiles that the destroyers can carry; a further purchase of 100 supplemental SM-2MRs was included in the 2007 annual budget to ensure all four ships had a full load of SM-2.
By end of 2008, DDG-1802 Su Ao was spotted to have eight HF-3 AShMs installed in place of eight Harpoon AShMs. From 2014 on, Standard Missile system will gradually be replaced by Sky Bow missile system.
Ships in class
- Original name: USS Kidd (DDG-993)
- Original name: USS Callaghan (DDG-994)
- Original name: USS Scott (DDG-995)
- Original name: USS Chandler (DDG-996)
- McPhedran, Ian (5 November 1999). "Navy told US ships too risky". Herald Sun. News Corporation. p. 26.
- "DDG-993 KIDD-class". GlobalSecurity.Org. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
- "Vsebav completes reactivation of ex-Kidd class guided missile destroyers". PR Newswire. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
- Photo of ship-mounted Hsiung Feng-III Anti-ship missiles taken at Su Ao Harbour
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kidd class destroyers.|
- Kidd-class destroyers at Destroyer History Foundation
- "World Navies Today: Taiwan (Republic of China)", Haze Gray & Underway.
- "DDG-993 KIDD-class"