US Navy Submarine Chief Petty Officer recalls when his boat was pinged by the sonar of a Spruance-class destroyer (the sonar ping sound could be heard through the hull of his submarine)

US Navy Submarine Chief Petty Officer recalls when his boat was pinged by the sonar of a Spruance-class destroyer (the sonar ping sound could be heard through the hull of his submarine)

By Dario Leone
Jul 16 2023
Share this article

The Spruance-class destroyer

The thirty-one Spruance-class destroyers were developed for the primary mission of anti-submarine warfare, including operations as an integral part of attack carrier forces.

Utilizing highly developed weapons systems (such as the AN/SQS-53B Hull Mounted Sonar and the AN/SQR-l9 (V) 3 Tactical Towed Array Sonar) the Spruance-class destroyers were designed to hunt down and destroy high speed submarines in all weather, but could also engage ships, aircraft, and shore targets. These multi-purpose combatants were also capable of providing naval gunfire support in conjunction with Marine amphibious operations worldwide.

Despite their capabilities, the US Navy retired the Spruance-class destroyers somewhat earlier than planned, decommissioning the last ship in 2005. Most Spruances were broken up or destroyed as targets (former USS Paul F. Foster (DD-964) now serves as a Self Defense Test Ship for experimental US Navy weapons and sensors). The class was succeeded as the main destroyer by the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

US Navy Submarine pinged by the sonar of a destroyer

James Clark, former US Navy Submarine Chief Petty Officer, recalls what it’s like being “pinged” by the sonar of a Spruance-class destroyer on Quora;

US Navy Submarine Chief Petty Officer recalls when his boat was pinged by the sonar of a Spruance-class destroyer (the sonar ping sound could be heard through the hull of his submarine)
Spruance-class destroyer USS Briscoe (DD 977)

‘I have been pinged once by a surface ship. We were entering port near dawn and our Officer of the Deck was doing his periscope sweeps before surfacing. He sighted a nearby ship and then announced they had launched a helo. We dove deep and went full ahead.

‘With fifteen minutes this weird sound started emanating in our ship. It’s not a ping. It sounds more a blue whale has decided to open up an EDM club and is showing off its sick new beats. It’s a wavering sound that goes up and down in pitch.

‘The surface ship was a Spruance-class destroyer. It had sighted our periscope and decided to prosecute. We ran for a while, let them have some ASW training and then surfaced and went into port.’

Clark concludes;

‘When I am saying pinged once, I am referring to hearing the SONAR through the hull. It could be heard on the mess decks over the TV burning a flick. The sonar operators heard plenty in sonar. Most of the time when we conducted PASSEX the SONAR was either passive only or the Active SONAR was far enough away that it could only be picked up by our sensors.’

US Navy Submarine Chief Petty Officer recalls when his boat was pinged by the sonar of a Spruance-class destroyer (the sonar ping sound could be heard through the hull of his submarine)
USS Asheville (SSN-758)

Photo credit: Chief Journalist Alan J. Baribeau / U.S. Navy


Share this article

Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. dvoraktom337@gmail.com says:

    I was stationed on the USS Spruance DD-963 the first one of the class in the 80’s

  2. kred56 says:

    USS Peterson (DD-969). 1985-87. Now on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

  3. Bama06 says:

    Was in Mayport on the DD963 from 1992-93.

  4. dwfalknor2 says:

    Served aboard USS Oldendorf DD-972. Sonar was awesome.

Share this article


Share this article
Share this article

Always up to date! News and offers delivered directly to you!

Get the best aviation news, stories and features from The Aviation Geek Club in our newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.

Error: Contact form not found.


Share this article
Back to top
My Agile Privacy
This website uses technical and profiling cookies. Clicking on "Accept" authorises all profiling cookies. Clicking on "Refuse" or the X will refuse all profiling cookies. By clicking on "Customise" you can select which profiling cookies to activate. In addition, this site installs Google Analytics in version 4 (GA4) with anonymous data transmission via proxy. By giving your consent, the data will be sent anonymously, thus protecting your privacy. We and our selected ad partners can store and/or access information on your device, such as cookies, unique identifiers, browsing data. You can always choose the specific purposes related to profiling by accessing the advertising preferences panel, and you can always withdraw your consent at any time by clicking on "Manage consent" at the bottom of the page.

List of some possible advertising permissions:

You can consult: our list of advertising partners, the Cookie Policy and the Privacy Policy.
Warning: some page functionalities could not work due to your privacy choices