Destroyer

Destroyer

Overview
In naval
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

 intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet
Naval fleet
A fleet, or naval fleet, is a large formation of warships, and the largest formation in any navy. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land....

, convoy
Convoy
A convoy is a group of vehicles, typically motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. Often, a convoy is organized with armed defensive support, though it may also be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas.-Age of Sail:Naval...

 or battle group
Carrier battle group
A carrier battle group consists of an aircraft carrier and its escorts, together composing the group. The first naval task forces built around carriers appeared just prior to and during World War II. The Imperial Japanese Navy was the first to assemble a large number of carriers into a single...

 and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from the response of navies to the threat posed by the torpedo boat
Torpedo boat
A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval vessel designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs rammed enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes, and later designs launched self-propelled Whitehead torpedoes. They were created to counter battleships and other large, slow and...

. Growing from earlier defensive developments, the torpedo boat destroyer (TBD) first appeared as a distinct class of warship when HMS Havock
HMS Havock (1893)
HMS Havock was a Havock-class torpedo boat destroyer of the British Royal Navy built by the Yarrow shipyard. She was one of the very first destroyers ordered by the Royal Navy. She had a 240 tons displacement, a speed of 27 knots, and was armed with a single 12-pounder gun, three 6-pounders, and...

 and Hornet
HMS Hornet (1893)
HMS Hornet was a Havock-class torpedo boat destroyer of the British Royal Navy.Built by Yarrow & Company, London, she was laid down in July 1892, launched on 23 December 1893 and completed in July 1894. She served all her service life in Home waters. She served for fifteen years before being sold...

 were commissioned into the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 in 1894.
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In naval
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

 intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet
Naval fleet
A fleet, or naval fleet, is a large formation of warships, and the largest formation in any navy. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land....

, convoy
Convoy
A convoy is a group of vehicles, typically motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. Often, a convoy is organized with armed defensive support, though it may also be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas.-Age of Sail:Naval...

 or battle group
Carrier battle group
A carrier battle group consists of an aircraft carrier and its escorts, together composing the group. The first naval task forces built around carriers appeared just prior to and during World War II. The Imperial Japanese Navy was the first to assemble a large number of carriers into a single...

 and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from the response of navies to the threat posed by the torpedo boat
Torpedo boat
A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval vessel designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs rammed enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes, and later designs launched self-propelled Whitehead torpedoes. They were created to counter battleships and other large, slow and...

. Growing from earlier defensive developments, the torpedo boat destroyer (TBD) first appeared as a distinct class of warship when HMS Havock
HMS Havock (1893)
HMS Havock was a Havock-class torpedo boat destroyer of the British Royal Navy built by the Yarrow shipyard. She was one of the very first destroyers ordered by the Royal Navy. She had a 240 tons displacement, a speed of 27 knots, and was armed with a single 12-pounder gun, three 6-pounders, and...

 and Hornet
HMS Hornet (1893)
HMS Hornet was a Havock-class torpedo boat destroyer of the British Royal Navy.Built by Yarrow & Company, London, she was laid down in July 1892, launched on 23 December 1893 and completed in July 1894. She served all her service life in Home waters. She served for fifteen years before being sold...

 were commissioned into the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 in 1894. By the time of the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

 in 1904, TBDs were "large, swift, and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats." Although the term destroyer had been used interchangeably with the terms "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term torpedo boat destroyer had been generally shortened to simply "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War.

Prior to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, destroyers were light vessels with little endurance for unattended ocean operations; typically a number of destroyers and a single destroyer tender
Destroyer tender
A destroyer tender is a ship designed to provide maintenance support to a flotilla of destroyers or other small warships. The use of this class has faded from its peak in the first half of the 20th century as the roles of small combatants have evolved .Due to the increased size and automation of...

 operated together. After the war, the advent of the guided missile allowed destroyers to take on the surface combatant roles previously filled by battleships and cruisers. This resulted in larger and more powerful destroyers more capable of independent operation.

At the beginning of the 21st century, destroyers are the heaviest surface combatant
Surface combatant
Surface combatants are a subset of Naval Warships which are designed to engage in combat on the surface of the water, with their own weapons. They are generally ships built to fight other ships, submarines or aircraft, and can carry out several other missions including counter-narcotics operations...

 ships in general use, with only three nations (the United States
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, Russia, and Peru
Peruvian Navy
The Peruvian Navy is the branch of the Peruvian Armed Forces tasked with surveillance, patrol and defense on lakes, rivers and the Pacific Ocean up to 200 nautical miles from the Peruvian littoral...

) operating the heavier class cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

s and none operating battleship
Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

s or true battlecruiser
Battlecruiser
Battlecruisers were large capital ships built in the first half of the 20th century. They were developed in the first decade of the century as the successor to the armoured cruiser, but their evolution was more closely linked to that of the dreadnought battleship...

s. Modern destroyers, also known as guided missile destroyer
Guided missile destroyer
A guided missile destroyer is a destroyer designed to launch guided missiles. Many are also equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface operations. In the U.S...

s, are equivalent in tonnage but vastly superior in firepower to cruisers of the World War II era, capable of carrying nuclear missiles. Guided missile destroyers such as the Arleigh Burke class are actually larger and more heavily armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers, due to their massive size at 510 feet (155.4 m) long and displacing 9200 tons and armed with over 90 missiles.http://www.armybase.us/2010/04/northrop-grumman-christened-its-28th-aegis-guided-missile-destroyer-william-p-lawrence-ddg-110/

Early history, torpedo boat destroyers


The emergence and development of the destroyer, up until World War II, was related to the invention of the self-propelled torpedo
Torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

 in the 1860s. A navy now had the potential to destroy a superior enemy battle fleet using steam launches to drop torpedoes. Fast boats armed with torpedoes were built and called torpedo boat
Torpedo boat
A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval vessel designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs rammed enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes, and later designs launched self-propelled Whitehead torpedoes. They were created to counter battleships and other large, slow and...

s. By the 1880s, these had evolved into small ships of 50-100 tons, fast enough to evade enemy picket boats.

At first, the danger to a battle fleet was considered only to exist when at anchor, but as faster and longer range torpedoes were developed, the threat extended to cruising at sea. In response to this new threat more heavily-gunned picket boats called "catchers" were built which were used to escort the battle fleet at sea. They needed the same seaworthiness and endurance, and as they necessarily became larger, they became officially designated "torpedo boat destroyers", and by the First World War were largely known as "destroyers" in English. The anti-torpedo boat origin of this type of ship is retained in its name in other languages, including French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 (contre-torpilleur), Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 (cacciatorpediniere), Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 (contratorpedeiro), Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 (kontrtorpedowiec), Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

 (torpédoborec), Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 (antitorpiliko,αντιτορπιλικό), and Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 (torpedobootjager).

Once destroyers became more than just catchers guarding an anchorage, it was realized that they were also ideal to take over the role of torpedo boats themselves, so they were fitted with torpedo tubes as well as guns. At that time, and even into World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the only function of destroyers was to protect their own battle fleet from enemy torpedo attacks and to make such attacks on the battleships of the enemy. The task of escorting merchant convoys was still in the future.

An important development came in 1884 with HMS Swift, a large torpedo boat with six 47 mm quick-firing guns and three torpedo tubes. While still not fast enough to engage torpedo boats reliably, she at least had the armament to deal with them.


The Japanese torpedo boatKotaka (Falcon) of 1885 was "the forerunner of torpedo boat destroyers that appeared a decade later". Designed to Japanese specifications and ordered from the London Yarrow shipyards in 1885, she was transported in parts to Japan, where she was assembled and launched in 1887. The 165 feet (50.3 m) long vessel was armed with four 1-pounder (37 mm) quick-firing guns and six torpedo
Torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

 tubes, reached 19 knots (35 km/h), and at 203 tons, was the largest torpedo boat built to date. In her trials in 1889, Kotaka demonstrated that she could exceed the role of coastal defense, and was capable of accompanying larger warships on the high seas. The Yarrow shipyards, builder of the parts for the Kotaka, "considered Japan to have effectively invented the destroyer".


Almost immediately after the order of Kotaka was placed, Fernando Villaamil
Fernando Villaamil
Fernando Villaamil was a Spanish naval officer, remembered for his internationally recognized professionalism, for being the designer of the first destroyer warship in history and for his heroic death in the naval Battle of Santiago de Cuba of the Spanish-American war, being the highest ranking...

, second officer of the Ministry of the Navy of Spain
Spanish Navy
The Spanish Navy is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces, one of the oldest active naval forces in the world. The Armada is responsible for notable achievements in world history such as the discovery of Americas, the first world circumnavigation, and the discovery of a maritime path...

 where he was put in charge of developing the concept of a new ship designed to combat torpedo boats, placed an order for a large torpedo gunboat in November 1885, with the British builder James and George Thompson, of Clydebank
Clydebank
Clydebank is a town in West Dunbartonshire, in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. Situated on the north bank of the River Clyde, Clydebank borders Dumbarton, the town with which it was combined to form West Dunbartonshire, as well as the town of Milngavie in East Dunbartonshire, and the Yoker and...

, not far from where the Yarrow shipyards would move from London 20 years later. The ship, named Destructor (literally Destroyer), was laid down at the end of the year, launched in 1886, and commissioned in 1887. Her displacement was 380 tons, and she was armed with one 90 mm Hontoria
Hontoria
Hontoria is one of 28 parishes in Llanes, a municipality within the province and autonomous community of Asturias, in northern Spain.-Villages:* Cardoso * Hontoria* Villahormes...

 gun, four 57 mm Nordenfelt guns, two 37 mm Hotchkiss cannon
Hotchkiss gun
The Hotchkiss gun can refer to different products of the Hotchkiss arms company starting in the late 19th century. It usually refers to the 1.65-inch light mountain gun; there was also a 3-inch Hotchkiss gun...

s and 3 Schwarzkopf torpedo tubes. Her complement was 60 men. In terms of gunnery, speed (22.5 knots in trials) and dimensions, the specific design to chase torpedo boats and her high seas capabilities, Destructor is widely considered the first torpedo-boat destroyer ever built. The Destructor is thought to have influenced the concept and designation of destroyers developed by the British Navy shortly after.

The British Navy began experiments with the "torpedo boat catcher", a class of 17 large torpedo boats. In tests, the Rattlesnake
HMS Rattlesnake (1886)
HMS Rattlesnake was a unique design of torpedo gunboat of the Royal NavyA result of the Russian war scare of 1885, she was designed by Nathaniel Barnaby that year and built by Laird Brothers, of Birkenhead....

 proved to be marginally faster than torpedo boats, but not fast enough to be decisive.

The first ships to bear the formal designation "torpedo boat destroyer" (TBD) were the Daring class of two ships and Havock class
Havock class destroyer
The Havock class was a class of torpedo boat destroyer of the British Royal Navy. The two ships, and , built in London in 1893 by Yarrow & Company, were the first TBDs to be completed for the Royal Navy, although the equivalent pair from J.I...

 of two ships of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, developed in 1892 under the newly appointed Third Sea Lord
Third Sea Lord
The Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy was formerly the Naval Lord and member of the Board of Admiralty responsible for procurement and matériel in the British Royal Navy...

 Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks"...

 "Jackie" Fisher. The Daring and Decoy were ordered on 27 June 1892 from John I. Thornycroft & Company
John I. Thornycroft & Company
John I. Thornycroft & Company Limited, usually known simply as Thornycroft was a British shipbuilding firm started by John Isaac Thornycroft in the 19th century.-History:...

 at Chiswick, while the Havock and Hornet were ordered five days later from Yarrow
Yarrow Shipbuilders
Yarrow Limited , often styled as simply Yarrows, was a major shipbuilding firm based in the Scotstoun district of Glasgow on the River Clyde...

 at Poplar
Poplar
Populus is a genus of 25–35 species of deciduous flowering plants in the family Salicaceae, native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. English names variously applied to different species include poplar , aspen, and cottonwood....

. The Daring and Decoy were completed in 1895 and the Havock and Hornet were completed in 1894. Each was armed with a single 12-pounder (76 mm) gun
12-pounder gun
12-pounder gun or 12-pdr, usually denotes a gun which fired a projectile of approximately 12 pounds.Guns of this type include:* A cannon sized for a 12 pound ball, see Naval artillery in the Age of Sail*Canon de 12 de Vallière French canon of 1732...

, three 6-pounders (57 mm), and three 46 cm torpedo tubes. They also had the range and speed to travel effectively with a battle fleet.

The French navy, an extensive user of torpedo boats, built its first torpedo boat destroyer in 1899, with the Durandal-class 'torpilleur d'escadre'.

The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 commissioned its first torpedo boat destroyer, USS Bainbridge
USS Bainbridge (DD-1)
The second USS Bainbridge was the first destroyer in the United States Navy and the lead ship of her class. She was named for William Bainbridge.-Construction:...

, Destroyer No. 1, in 1902 and by 1906 there were 16 destroyers in service with the US Navy.

Early torpedo-boat-destroyer designs


Torpedo-boat-destroyer designs continued to evolve around the turn of the 20th century in several key ways. The first was the introduction of the steam turbine
Steam turbine
A steam turbine is a mechanical device that extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam, and converts it into rotary motion. Its modern manifestation was invented by Sir Charles Parsons in 1884....

. The spectacular unauthorized demonstration of the turbine powered Turbinia
Turbinia
Turbinia was the first steam turbine-powered steamship. Built as an experimental vessel in 1894, and easily the fastest ship in the world at that time, Turbinia was demonstrated dramatically at the Spithead Navy Review in 1897 and set the standard for the next generation of steamships, the...

 at the 1897 Spithead Navy Review, which, significantly, was of torpedo boat size, prompted the Royal Navy to order a prototype turbine powered destroyer, HMS Viper of 1899. This was the first turbine warship of any kind and achieved a remarkable 36 knots (71 km/h) on sea trials. By 1910 the turbine had been widely adopted by all navies for their faster ships.

The second development was the replacement of the torpedo boat-style turtleback foredeck by a raised forecastle
Forecastle
Forecastle refers to the upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast, or the forward part of a ship with the sailors' living quarters...

 for the new River class destroyer
River class destroyer
The River-class destroyer was a heterogeneous class of torpedo boat destroyer built to assorted builders' designs for the Royal Navy at the turn of the 20th century, which saw extensive service in World War I...

s built in 1903, which provided better sea-keeping as well as more space below deck.


The British experimented with oil propulsion for the Tribal class
Tribal class destroyer (1905)
The Tribal or F class was a class of destroyer built for the Royal Navy. Twelve ships were built between 1905 and 1908 and all saw service during World War I, where they saw action in the North Sea and English Channel as part of the 6th Flotilla and Dover Patrols.-Design:The preceding River or E...

 of 1905 but switched temporarily back to coal for the later Beagle class
Beagle class destroyer
The Beagle class was a class of sixteen destroyers of the Royal Navy, all ordered under the 1908-1909 Programme and launched in 1909 and 1910...

 in 1909. Other navies also adopted oil, for instance the USN with the Paulding class
Paulding class destroyer
The Paulding-class destroyers were a modification of the Smith-class. The newer class burned oil rather than coal, lightening the ships and making them faster....

 of 1909.
In spite of all this variety, destroyers adopted a largely similar pattern. The hull was long and narrow, with a relatively shallow draft. The bow was either raised in a forecastle or covered under a turtleback; underneath this were the crew spaces, extending 1/4 to 1/3 the way along the hull. Aft of the crew spaces was as much engine space as the technology of the time would allow: several boilers and engines or turbines. Above deck, one or more quick-firing guns were mounted in the bows, in front of the bridge; several more were mounted amidships and astern. Two torpedo tube mountings (later on, multiple mountings) were generally found amidships.

Between 1892 and 1914 destroyers became markedly larger: initially 420 tons with a length of 250 feet (76.2 m) for the US Navy's first Bainbridge
Bainbridge class destroyer
Officially designated as Torpedo Boat Destroyers when authorized by Congress in 1898, the Bainbridge-class destroyers were the first destroyers of the United States Navy, built from 1899 through 1903....

 class of torpedo boat destroyers, up to the First World War with 300 feet (91.4 m) long destroyers displacing 1000 tons was not unusual. However, construction remained focused on putting the biggest possible engines into a small hull, resulting in a somewhat flimsy construction. Often hulls were built of steel only 1/8in thick.

By 1910 the steam-driven displacement (that is, not hydroplaning
Planing (sailing)
Planing is the mode of operation for a waterborne craft in which its weight is predominantly supported by hydrodynamic lift, rather than hydrostatic lift .-History:...

) torpedo boat had become redundant as a separate type. Germany nevertheless continued to build such torpedo boats until the end of World War I, although these were effectively small coastal destroyers. In fact Germany never distinguished between the two types, giving them pennant numbers in the same series and never giving names to destroyers. Ultimately the term torpedo boat came to be attached to a quite different vessel - the very fast hydroplaning motor driven MTB
Motor Torpedo Boat
Motor Torpedo Boat was the name given to fast torpedo boats by the Royal Navy, and the Royal Canadian Navy.The capitalised term is generally used for the Royal Navy boats and abbreviated to "MTB"...

.

Life on torpedo boat destroyers


Early destroyers were extremely cramped places to live, being "without a doubt magnificent fighting vessels"... "but unable to stand bad weather." During the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

 in 1904, the commander of the torpedo boat destroyer IJN
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 Akatsuki described "being in command of a destroyer for a long period, especially in wartime...is not very good for the health." Stating that he had originally been strong and healthy, he continued, "life on a destroyer in winter, with bad food, no comforts, would sap the powers of the strongest men in the long run. A destroyer is always more uncomfortable than the others, and rain
Rain
Rain is liquid precipitation, as opposed to non-liquid kinds of precipitation such as snow, hail and sleet. Rain requires the presence of a thick layer of the atmosphere to have temperatures above the melting point of water near and above the Earth's surface...

, snow
Snow
Snow is a form of precipitation within the Earth's atmosphere in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes that fall from clouds. Since snow is composed of small ice particles, it is a granular material. It has an open and therefore soft structure, unless packed by...

, and sea-water combine to make them damp; in fact, in bad weather there is not a dry spot where one can rest for a moment."

The Japanese destroyer commander finished with, "Yesterday I looked at myself in a mirror for a long time; I was disagreeably surprised to see my face thin, full of wrinkles, and as old as though I were fifty. My clothes (uniform) cover nothing but a skeleton
Skeleton
The skeleton is the body part that forms the supporting structure of an organism. There are two different skeletal types: the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, and the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside the body.In a figurative sense, skeleton can...

, and my bones
Bone
Bones are rigid organs that constitute part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue...

 are full of rheumatism
Rheumatism
Rheumatism or rheumatic disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems affecting the joints and connective tissue. The study of, and therapeutic interventions in, such disorders is called rheumatology.-Terminology:...

."

Although officially classified as a torpedo boat in 1898 by the US Navy, the USS Porter
USS Porter
USS Porter may refer to one of several ships in the United States Navy named in honor of Commodore David Porter, and his son, Admiral David Dixon Porter....

, a 175 feet (53.3 m) long all steel vessel displacing 165 tons, was described by her commander, LT. John C. Fremont, as "...a compact mass of machinery not meant to keep the sea nor to live in...as five sevenths of the ship are taken up by machinery and fuel, whilst the remaining two sevenths, fore and aft, are the crew's quarters; officers forward and the men placed aft. And even in those spaces are placed anchor engines, steering engines, steam pipes, etc. rendering them unbearably hot in tropical regions."

Early torpedo-boat-destroyer tactics and engagements


The torpedo boat destroyer's initial purpose was to protect against torpedo boats, but navies soon appreciated the flexibility of the fast, multi-purpose vessel that resulted. Vice-Admiral Sir Baldwin Walker laid down destroyer duties for the Royal Navy:
  • Screening the advance of a fleet when hostile torpedo craft are about
  • Searching a hostile coast along which a fleet might pass
  • Watching an enemy's port for the purpose of harassing his torpedo craft and preventing their return
  • Attacking an enemy fleet


The torpedo boat destroyer's first major use in combat came during the Japanese surprise attack on the Russian fleet anchored in Port Arthur
Battle of Port Arthur
The Battle of Port Arthur was the starting battle of the Russo-Japanese War...

 at the opening of the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

 on 8 February 1904. Three destroyer divisions attacked the Russian fleet in port, firing a total of 18 torpedoes. However only two Russian battleships were seriously damaged due to the proper deployment of torpedo nets. The Russian flagship, the battleship Tsesarevich
Tsesarevich
Tsesarevich was the title of the heir apparent or presumptive in the Russian Empire. It either preceded or replaced the given name and patronymic.-Usage:...

, which had her nets deployed, had at least 4 enemy torpedoes "hung up" in them, other warships were similarly saved from further damage by the Russian navy's proper use of torpedo nets
Torpedo nets
Torpedo nets were a passive naval warship defensive device against torpedoes. Their use was common practice from the 1890s through World War II...

.

World War I


While capital ship engagements were scarce in World War I, destroyer units were almost continually engaged in raiding and patrol actions. The first shot of the war at sea was fired on 5 August 1914 by a destroyer of the 2nd Flotilla, Lance
HMS Lance (1914)
HMS Lance was a Laforey-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. Launched a few months before the outbreak of the First World War and attached to the Harwich Force, Lance took part in several engagements during the war, including the sinking of the and the Battle off Texel...

, in an engagement with the German auxiliary minelayer
Minelayer
Minelaying is the act of deploying explosive mines. Historically this has been carried out by ships, submarines and aircraft. Additionally, since World War I the term minelayer refers specifically to a naval ship used for deploying naval mines...

 Königin Luise
SS Königin Luise (1913)
The SS Königin Luise was a German steam ferry. She operated between Hamburg and Holland, before being taken over by the Kaiserliche Marine on the outbreak of the First World War...

. The first British naval casualty was Amphion
HMS Amphion (1911)
HMS Amphion was an Active-class scout cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was built at Pembroke Dockyard and launched on 4 December 1911. She became the first ship of the Royal Navy to be sunk in the First World War...

, the light cruiser leading the 3rd Flotilla, which ran into a mine laid by Königin Luise.

Destroyers were involved in the skirmishes that prompted the Battle of Heligoland Bight, and filled a range of roles in the Battle of Gallipoli
Battle of Gallipoli
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War...

, acting as troop’s transports and fire support vessels, as well as their fleet-screening role. Over 80 British destroyers and 60 German torpedo-boats took part in the Battle of Jutland
Battle of Jutland
The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle between the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet during the First World War. The battle was fought on 31 May and 1 June 1916 in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. It was the largest naval battle and the only...

, which involved pitched small-boat actions between the main fleets, and several foolhardy attacks by unsupported destroyers on capital ships. Jutland also concluded with a messy night action between the German High Seas Fleet
High Seas Fleet
The High Seas Fleet was the battle fleet of the German Empire and saw action during World War I. The formation was created in February 1907, when the Home Fleet was renamed as the High Seas Fleet. Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz was the architect of the fleet; he envisioned a force powerful enough to...

 and part of the British destroyer screen.

The threat evolved by World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 with the development of the submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

, or U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

. The submarine had the potential to hide from gunfire and close underwater to fire torpedoes. Early-war destroyers had the speed and armament to intercept submarines before they submerged, either by gunfire or by ramming. Destroyers also had a shallow enough draft that torpedoes would find it difficult to hit them.

The desire to attack submarines underwater led to rapid destroyer evolution during the war, which were quickly equipped with strengthened bows for ramming, depth charge
Depth charge
A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon intended to destroy or cripple a target submarine by the shock of exploding near it. Most use explosives and a fuze set to go off at a preselected depth in the ocean. Depth charges can be dropped by either surface ships, patrol aircraft, or from...

s and hydrophone
Hydrophone
A hydrophone is a microphone designed to be used underwater for recording or listening to underwater sound. Most hydrophones are based on a piezoelectric transducer that generates electricity when subjected to a pressure change...

s for identifying submarine targets. The first submarine casualty to a destroyer was the German U-19, rammed by Badger on 29 October 1914. While U-19 was only damaged, the next month Garry successfully sank U-18
SM U-18
SM U-18 was one of 329 submarines serving in the Imperial German Navy in World War I. U-18 engaged in the commerce warfare in the First Battle of the Atlantic.Launched in October 1914, she was commanded by Kaptlt...

. The first depth-charge sinking was on 4 December 1916, when UC-19
SM UC-19
SM UC-19 was a German Type UC II minelaying submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy during World War I. The U-boat was ordered on 26 August 1915 and was launched on 15 March 1916...

 was sunk by Llewellyn.

The submarine threat meant that many destroyers spent their time on anti-submarine patrol; once Germany adopted unrestricted submarine warfare
Unrestricted submarine warfare
Unrestricted submarine warfare is a type of naval warfare in which submarines sink merchantmen without warning, as opposed to attacks per prize rules...

 in January 1917, destroyers were called on to escort merchant convoy
Convoy
A convoy is a group of vehicles, typically motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. Often, a convoy is organized with armed defensive support, though it may also be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas.-Age of Sail:Naval...

s. US Navy destroyers were among the first American units to be dispatched upon the American entry to the war, and a squadron of Japanese destroyers even joined Allied patrols in the Mediterranean. Patrol duty was far from safe; of the 67 British destroyers lost in the war, collisions accounted for 18, while 12 were wrecked.

At the end of the war the state-of-the-art was represented by the British W class
V and W class destroyer
The V and W class was an amalgam of six similar classes of destroyer built for the Royal Navy under the War Emergency Programme of the First World War and generally treated as one class...

.

Inter-war



The trend during World War I had been towards larger destroyers with heavier armaments. A number of opportunities to fire at capital ships had been missed during the War, because destroyers had expended all their torpedoes in an initial salvo. The British 'V' & 'W' classes
V and W class destroyer
The V and W class was an amalgam of six similar classes of destroyer built for the Royal Navy under the War Emergency Programme of the First World War and generally treated as one class...

 of the late war had sought to address this by mounting six torpedo tubes in two triple mounts, instead of the four or two on earlier models. The 'V' and 'W's set the standard of destroyer building well into the 1920s.

The next major innovation came with the Japanese Fubuki class or 'special type', designed in 1923 and delivered in 1928. The design was initially noted for its powerful armament of six five-inch (127 mm) guns and three triple torpedo mounts. The second batch of the class gave the guns high-angle turrets for anti-aircraft warfare, and the 24 inches (61 cm) oxygen-fueled 'Long Lance' Type 93 torpedo
Type 93 torpedo
The Type 93 was a -diameter torpedo of the Imperial Japanese Navy , launched from surface ships. It is commonly referred to as the Long Lance by most modern English-language naval historians, a nickname given it after the war by Samuel E. Morison, the chief historian of the U.S...

. The later Hatsuharu class
Hatsuharu class destroyer
The were a class of Imperial Japanese Navy destroyers in the service before and during World War II. The final two vessels in the series, completed after modifications to the design, are sometimes considered a separate "Ariake-class".-Background:...

 of 1931 further improved the torpedo armament by storing its reload torpedoes close at hand in the superstructure, allowing reloading within 15 minutes.

Most other nations replied with similar larger ships. The US Porter class adopted twin five-inch (127 mm) guns, and the subsequent Mahan class
Mahan class destroyer
The Mahan-class destroyers served in the United States Navy before and during World War II. The lead ship of the class was named for Alfred T. Mahan, a US Naval officer and influential theorist on sea power....

 and Gridley class
Gridley class destroyer
The Gridley-class destroyers were a class of four 1500-ton destroyers in the United States Navy.The initial two ships were laid down on June 3, 1935 and commissioned in 1937. The second two were laid down in March of 1936 and commissioned in 1938....

 (the latter of 1934) increased the number of torpedo tubes to 12 and 16 respectively.


In the Mediterranean, the Italian Navy's building of very fast light cruisers of the Condottieri class
Condottieri class cruiser
The Condottieri class was a sequence of five, different, light cruiser classes of the Regia Marina , although these classes show a clear line of evolution. They were built before World War II to gain predominance in the Mediterranean Sea...

 prompted the French to produce exceptional destroyer designs. The French had long been keen on large destroyers, with their Chacal class
Chacal class destroyer
The Chacal-class, sometimes known as the Jaguar class, were a group of six French navy large destroyers built commencing 1923. Designed as larger, more capable counterparts to the Bourasque class, they set a standard for French destroyer design until the mid-1930s...

 of 1922 displacing over 2,000 tons and carrying 130 mm guns; a further three similar classes were produced around 1930. The Le Fantasque
Le Fantasque (1935)
The Fantasque was a large destroyer of the French Navy which served during the Second World War...

 class of 1935 carried five 138 mm (5.4 in) guns and nine torpedo tubes, but could achieve speeds of 45 knots (88 km/h), which remains the record speed for a steamship and for any destroyer. The Italians' own destroyers were almost as swift, most Italian designs of the 1930s being rated at over 38 knots (74 km/h), while carrying torpedoes and either four or six 120 mm guns.

Germany started to build destroyers again during the 1930s as part of Hitler's rearmament program. The Germans were also fond of large destroyers, but while the initial Type 1934
German World War II destroyers
At the outbreak of the Second World War, the German Navy, the Kriegsmarine, had 21 destroyers . These had all been built in the 1930s, making them modern vessels...

 displaced over 3,000 tons, their armament was equal to smaller vessels. This changed from the Type 1936 onwards, which mounted heavy 150 mm guns. German destroyers also used innovative high-pressure steam machinery: while this should have helped their efficiency, it more often resulted in mechanical problems.

Once German and Japanese rearmament became clear, the British and American navies consciously focused on building destroyers that were smaller but more numerous than those used by other nations. The British built a series of destroyers (the A Class
A class destroyer
The A class was a flotilla of eight destroyers built for the Royal Navy as part of the 1927 naval programme. A ninth ship, Codrington, was built to an enlarged design to act as the flotilla leader...

 to I Class
I class destroyer
The I class was a class of eight destroyers plus a flotilla leader of the British Royal Navy ordered under the 1935 naval programme, laid down in 1936 and completed in 1937 and 1938...

) which were about 1,400 tons standard displacement, had four 4.7 inches (119 mm) guns and eight torpedo tubes; the American Benson class
Benson class destroyer
The Benson class was a class of 30 destroyers of the U.S. Navy built 1939–1943. The first ship of the class was the . The U.S. Navy customarily names a class of ships after the first ship of the class; hence the Benson class....

 of 1938 similar in size, but carried five 5 inches (127 mm) guns and ten torpedo tubes. Realizing the need for heavier gun armament, the British built the Tribal class
Tribal class destroyer (1936)
The Tribal class, or Afridi class, were a class of destroyers built for the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Australian Navy that saw service in World War II...

 of 1936 (sometimes called "Afridi" after one of two lead ships). These ships displaced 1,850 tons and were armed with eight 4.7 inches (119 mm) guns in four twin turrets and four torpedo tubes. These were followed by the J Class
J, K and N class destroyer
The J, K and N class was a class of 24 destroyers of the Royal Navy launched in 1938. They were a return to a smaller vessel, with a heavier torpedo armament, after the Tribal class that emphasised guns over torpedoes. The ships were built in three flotillas or groups, eight each of ships with...

 and L class destroyers, with six 4.7 inches (119 mm) guns in twin turrets and eight torpedo tubes.

Anti-submarine sensors included sonar (or ASDIC)
Sonar
Sonar is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect other vessels...

, although training in their use was indifferent. Anti-submarine weapons changed little, and ahead-throwing weapons, a need recognized in World War I, had made no progress.

Operations in the inter-war period


During the 1920s and 1930s destroyers were often deployed to areas of diplomatic tension or humanitarian disaster. British and American destroyers were common on the Chinese coast and rivers, even supplying landing parties to protect colonial interests.

World War II



By World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 the threat had evolved once again. Submarines were more effective, and aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 had become important weapons of naval warfare; once again the fleet destroyers were ill-equipped for combating these new targets. They were fitted with new anti-aircraft guns, radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

, and forward-launched ASW
Hedgehog (weapon)
The Hedgehog was an anti-submarine weapon developed by the Royal Navy during World War II, that was deployed on convoy escort warships such as destroyers to supplement the depth charge. The weapon worked by firing a number of small spigot mortar bombs from spiked fittings...

 weapons, in addition to their existing light guns, depth charges, and torpedoes. By this time the destroyers had become large, multi-purpose vessels, expensive targets in their own right. As a result, casualties on destroyers were one of the highest. This led to the introduction of smaller and cheaper specialized anti-submarine warships called corvette
Corvette
A corvette is a small, maneuverable, lightly armed warship, originally smaller than a frigate and larger than a coastal patrol craft or fast attack craft , although many recent designs resemble frigates in size and role...

s and frigate
Frigate
A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...

s by the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 and destroyer escort
Destroyer escort
A destroyer escort is the classification for a smaller, lightly armed warship designed to be used to escort convoys of merchant marine ships, primarily of the United States Merchant Marine in World War II. It is employed primarily for anti-submarine warfare, but also provides some protection...

s by the USN. A similar programme was belatedly started by the Japanese (see Matsu class destroyer
Matsu class destroyer
The were a class of destroyer built for the Imperial Japanese Navy , who referred to them as .-Design basis:The Matsu class were built late in World War II, and they were intended to be more cost-effective in response to the changing character of naval warfare at that time...

). These ships had the size and displacement of the original torpedo boat destroyers that the contemporary destroyer had evolved from.

Post-war



Some conventional destroyers were completed in the late 1940s and 1950s which built on wartime experience. These vessels were significantly larger than wartime ships and had fully automatic main guns, unit Machinery, radar, sonar, and antisubmarine weapons such as the Squid mortar
Squid (weapon)
Squid was a British World War II ship-mounted anti-submarine weapon. It consisted of a three-barrelled mortar which launched depth charges. It replaced the Hedgehog system, and was in turn replaced by the Limbo system....

. Examples include the British Daring class
Daring class destroyer (1949)
The Daring class was a class of eleven destroyers built for the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy . Constructed after World War II, and entering service during the 1950s, eight ships were constructed for the RN, and three ships for the RAN. Two of the RN destroyers were subsequently sold to and...

, US Forrest Sherman-class
Forrest Sherman class destroyer
The 18 Forrest Sherman-class destroyers were the first US post-war destroyers . and later ships were equipped with B&W Bailey Meter Company's new automatic boiler combustion control system, and a modified hurricane bow/anchor configuration...

, and the Soviet Kotlin-class destroyers.

Some World War II–vintage ships were modernized for anti-submarine warfare, and to extend their service lives, to avoid having to build (expensive) brand-new ships. Examples include the US FRAM I programme and the British Type 15 frigate
Type 15 frigate
The Type 15 frigate was a class of British anti-submarine frigates of the Royal Navy. They were conversions based on the hulls of World War II-era destroyers built to the standard War Emergency Programme "utility" design.-History:...

s converted from fleet destroyers.

The advent of surface-to-air missile
Surface-to-air missile
A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

s and surface-to-surface missile
Surface-to-surface missile
A surface-to-surface missile is a guided projectile launched from a hand-held, vehicle mounted, trailer mounted or fixed installation or from a ship. They are often powered by a rocket motor or sometimes fired by an explosive charge, since the launching platform is typically stationary or moving...

s, such as the Exocet
Exocet
The Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Hundreds were fired in combat during the 1980s.-Etymology:...

, in the early 1960s changed naval warfare. Guided missile destroyer
Guided missile destroyer
A guided missile destroyer is a destroyer designed to launch guided missiles. Many are also equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface operations. In the U.S...

s (DDG in the US Navy) were developed to carry these weapons and protect the fleet from air, submarine and surface threats. Examples include the Soviet Kashin-class
Kashin class destroyer
The Kashin class destroyers were a group of guided missile destroyers built for the Soviet Navy in the 1960s and early 1970s. Their Soviet designation was Project 61...

, the British County class
County class destroyer
The County class was a class of guided missile destroyers, the first such vessels built by the Royal Navy. Designed specifically around the Sea Slug anti-aircraft missile system, the primary role of these ships was area air-defence around the aircraft carrier task force in the nuclear-war...

, and the American Charles F. Adams-class
Charles F. Adams class destroyer
The Charles F. Adams class is a ship class of 29 guided missile destroyers built between 1958 and 1967. Twenty three ships were built for the United States Navy, 3 for the Royal Australian Navy, and 3 for the West German Bundesmarine. The ships were based on the existing Forrest Sherman class, but...

.

Modern destroyers


In the US Navy, fleet destroyers operate in support of carrier battle group
Carrier battle group
A carrier battle group consists of an aircraft carrier and its escorts, together composing the group. The first naval task forces built around carriers appeared just prior to and during World War II. The Imperial Japanese Navy was the first to assemble a large number of carriers into a single...

s, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups. The destroyers currently in use by the US Navy are the Arleigh Burke class
Arleigh Burke class destroyer
The Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers is the United States Navy's first class of destroyer built around the Aegis combat system and the SPY-1D multi-function phased array radar. The class is named for Admiral Arleigh "31-Knot" Burke, the most famous American destroyer officer of...

. Destroyers (with a DD hull classification symbol
Hull classification symbol
The United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration use hull classification symbols to identify their ship types and each individual ship within each type...

) primarily perform anti-submarine warfare duty while guided missile
Guided Missile
Guided Missile is a London based independent record label set up by Paul Kearney in 1994.Guided Missile has always focused on 'the underground', preferring to put out a steady flow of releases and developing the numerous GM events around London and beyond....

 destroyers (DDGs) are multi-mission (anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-surface warfare) surface combatants.

The relatively-recent addition of cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

 launchers has greatly expanded the role of the destroyer in strike and land-attack warfare. As the expense of heavier surface combatants has generally removed them from the fleet, destroyer tonnage has grown (a modern Arleigh Burke class
Arleigh Burke class destroyer
The Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers is the United States Navy's first class of destroyer built around the Aegis combat system and the SPY-1D multi-function phased array radar. The class is named for Admiral Arleigh "31-Knot" Burke, the most famous American destroyer officer of...

 destroyer has the same tonnage as a World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 light cruiser
Light cruiser
A light cruiser is a type of small- or medium-sized warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armored cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armor in the same way as an armored cruiser: a protective belt and deck...

). Arleigh Burke is billed by her builders as ton-for-ton the most powerful warship in history.

The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 currently operates five ships of the Type 42
Type 42 destroyer
The Type 42 or Sheffield class, are guided missile destroyers used by the British Royal Navy and the Argentine Navy. The first ship of the class was ordered in 1968 and launched in 1971, and today three ships remain active in the Royal Navy and one in the Argentinian Navy...

 class. These ships are due to be replaced by the new type 45
Type 45 destroyer
The United Kingdom's Type 45 destroyer is an air defence destroyer programme of the Royal Navy which will replace its Type 42 destroyers. The first ship in the class, HMS Daring, was launched on 1 February 2006 and commissioned on 23 July 2009. The ships are now built by BAE Systems Surface Ships...

, or Daring class, stealth destroyers which will displace roughly 7,200 tonnes. A class of six ships is envisaged, three of which are in service. They will be equipped with the UK variant of the Principal Anti-Air Missile System
PAAMS
The Principal Anti Air Missile System is a joint French/Italian/British programme for a naval anti-aircraft weapon. The prime contractor is EUROPAAMS, a joint venture between Eurosam and MBDA subsidiary UKAMS . MBDA also owns 66% of Eurosam, in effect giving it a 77% share of the project...

 (PAAMS) and BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 SAMPSON
SAMPSON
The SAMPSON is a multi-function AESA radar produced by BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies. The SAMPSON multi function radar system is described by BAE Systems as being a world beating air defence system...

 radar.
The Italian Navy
Italian Navy
Italian Navy may refer to:* Pre-unitarian navies of the Italian states* Regia Marina, the Royal Navy of the Kingdom of Italy * Italian Navy , the navy of the Italian Republic...

 and the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

 each operate two Horizon class
Horizon class frigate
The Horizon Common New Generation Frigate is a multi-national collaboration to produce a new generation of anti-air warfare frigates. Originally an alliance of Britain, France and Italy, the project is now a French/Italian effort following the withdrawal of Britain due to differing requirements...

 destroyers. These stealth ships are armed with the Otomat anti-ship missiles and Aster
MBDA Aster
Aster is a family of surface-to-air missiles manufactured by Eurosam, a European consortium consisting of MBDA France, MBDA Italy and the Thales Group .-Overview:The Aster family was developed to perform three distinct missions:...

 surface-to-air missiles. The Italian navy currently also operates two Luigi Durand de la Penne class
Durand de la Penne class destroyer
The Durand de la Penne class destroyers are two guided missile destroyers operated by the Marina Militare, the Italian navy. The design is an updated version of the Audace class destroyers but these ships are larger, have CODOG machinery and modern sensors...

 destroyers.


The Canadian Navy
Canadian Forces Maritime Command
The Royal Canadian Navy , is the naval force of Canada. The RCN is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Forces. Operating 33 warships and several auxiliary vessels, the Royal Canadian Navy consists of 8,500 Regular Force and 5,100 Primary Reserve sailors, supported by...

 currently operates the Iroquois class
Iroquois class destroyer
Iroquois-class destroyers, also known as Tribal class, are a class of four helicopter-carrying, guided missile destroyers of the Canadian Forces. Launched in the 1970s, they were originally fitted out for anti-submarine warfare, but a major upgrade programme in the 1990s overhauled them for...

 destroyers, a class of four helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

-carrying, anti-aircraft, guided missile
Guided Missile
Guided Missile is a London based independent record label set up by Paul Kearney in 1994.Guided Missile has always focused on 'the underground', preferring to put out a steady flow of releases and developing the numerous GM events around London and beyond....

 destroyers (with three remaining in service). They were originally fitted out for anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....

, but the entire class underwent major retrofits as a part of the Tribal Class Update and Modernization Program, or TRUMP, in the 1990s. These refits had the effect of re-purposing the ships for air-defence, and the ships are now referred to as area air-defence destroyers.


The Indian Navy
Indian Navy
The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff , usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy...

 operates three Delhi class
Delhi class destroyer
The Delhi class destroyers are guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy. Three ships of this class are in active service.The Delhi class vessels are the largest warships to be fully designed and built in India, although they will soon be superseded by the Kolkata class destroyers and the...

 destroyers. These ships are armed with Kh-35 missiles, which have a range of 130 km, in the anti-ship role. They will be replaced by the Brahmos
BrahMos
BrahMos is a stealth supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land. It is a joint venture between Republic of India's Defence Research and Development Organisation and Russian Federation's NPO Mashinostroeyenia who have together formed BrahMos Aerospace...

 cruise missiles. Shtil (AKA SA-N-7 Gadfly) system is installed to counter airborne threats. The Barak
Barak SAM
Barak is an Israeli surface-to-air missile designed to be used as a point-defense missile system on warships, defending against aircraft, anti-ship missiles, and UAVs.-Barak I:...

 point-defense missile system has been installed in and will soon be installed in the other two ships of its class. These destroyers also carry the RBU-6000
RBU-6000
The RBU-6000 Smerch-2 is a 213 mm caliber Soviet anti-submarine rocket launcher. It is similar in principle to the Royal Navy Hedgehog system used during the Second World War...

 rockets in the anti-submarine role and are provided with five 533 mm torpedo launch tubes that can launch the SET-65E, Type 53-65 torpedoes. The destroyers have the capability to carry two Sea King helicopters. The Delhi class will be augmented by the new Kolkata class destroyer
Kolkata class destroyer
The Kolkata class of guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy were conceptualized under Project 15A, and include land-attack capability as well as some signature reduction features. Three ships of the class are being built at Mazagon Dock Limited . The first vessel is expected to join the fleet...

s, the first of which was launched in March 2006.


The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy has recently commissioned a number of new modern destroyers in addition to the four Sovremenny class. Three new classes were launched since 2003, known as the Luyang I, Luyang II and Luzhou classes. The latter two are armed with long range air defense missiles, the indigenous HQ-9 and the Russian S-300 respectively. It has been speculated that once the PLAN has been satisfied with one of the two designs (either the 052C or 051C), it would be selected for series production as the next generation of advanced air defense destroyers for China.

The Republic of Korea navy operates several classes of destroyers including the King Sejong the Great class (KDX-III), the Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin class
Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin class destroyer
Chungmugong Yi Sun-shin class destroyers are multipurpose destroyers of the Republic of Korea Navy. The lead ship of this class, ROKS Chungmugong Yi Sunshin, was launched in May 2002 and commissioned in December 2003...

 (KDX-II) and Gwanggaeto the Great class
Gwanggaeto the Great class destroyer
The Gwanggaeto the Great class destroyers , often called KD-I class, are destroyers, but are classified by some as frigates, operated by the Republic of Korea Navy...

 (KDX-I) of destroyers. The KDX-III is equipped with the Aegis combat system
Aegis combat system
The Aegis Combat System is an integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, and now produced by Lockheed Martin...

, Goalkeeper CIWS
Goalkeeper CIWS
Goalkeeper is a Dutch close-in weapon system introduced in 1979 and in use , which primarily defends ships against incoming missiles and ballistic shells. This system consists of an autocannon and an advanced radar which in typically six seconds detects incoming fire, determines its trajectory,...

, Hyunmoo
Hyunmoo
Hyunmoo was a series of missiles developed by South Korea.Through reverse-engineering of US supplied missiles, South Korea produced two versions of a two-stage, solid-fuel SSM based on the US Nike Hercules surface-to-air missile: NHK-1/Paekkom and NHK-2...

 cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

 and the Hae Sung
Hae Sung
SSM-700K Hae Sung I Anti-ship Missile is a ship launched anti-ship cruise missile developed by the Korea Agency for Defense Development , Nex1 Future and the Republic of Korea Navy in 2003...

 anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missiles are guided missiles that are designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea-skimming type, many use a combination of inertial guidance and radar homing...

.
Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

's Maritime Self-Defense Force
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
The , or JMSDF, is the naval branch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, tasked with the naval defense of Japan. It was formed following the dissolution of the Imperial Japanese Navy after World War II....

 operates the Atago
Atago class destroyer
The is an improved version of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force 's Kongō class destroyers. It is a Japanese variant of the United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer ....

 and Kongō
Kongo class destroyer
The of guided missile destroyers serves as the core ship of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force 's Escort Flotillas. They are a modification of the United States Navy's Arleigh Burke class .-Design:...

 class destroyers which both employ the Aegis combat system.


The Russian Navy and the People's Liberation Army Navy of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 operate the Sovremenny class
Sovremenny class destroyer
The Sovremenny class destroyer is the principal anti-surface warship of the Russian Navy. Soviet designation for the class was Project 956 Sarych ....

, a class of large multi-purpose missile destroyers. They are powered by pressure-fired boilers, making them capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots (59 km/h). Their armament consists of 8 SS-N-22 Sunburn anti-ship missiles, launchers for SA-N-7 Gadfly anti-air missiles and two AK-130 twin-barreled 130 mm automatic naval guns which can fire laser-guided shells. While they also carry 533 mm torpedo tubes and RBU-6000
RBU-6000
The RBU-6000 Smerch-2 is a 213 mm caliber Soviet anti-submarine rocket launcher. It is similar in principle to the Royal Navy Hedgehog system used during the Second World War...

 rocket launchers for use against submarines, their primary mission is to attack surface ships. Their anti-aircraft missiles have a surface attack mode, and both the 130 mm guns and the torpedoes are useful against ships at close range.

Currently, the most modern destroyers in use with the Russian Navy today is the Udaloy class destroyer
Udaloy class destroyer
The Udaloy I class are a series of anti-submarine destroyers built for the Soviet Navy, eight of which are currently in service with the Russian Navy. The Russian designation is Project 1155 Fregat...

. The ships of this class can displace about 7,900 tonnes in a full load, can travel at 35 knots (69 km/h), and have a maximum range of 10,500 kn (19,450 km) at 14 knots (27 km/h). The original class (Udaloy I) was designed for anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....

, which can be seen in their two quadruple launchers of the Metel Anti-Ship Complex (SS-N-14), two quadruple 533 millimetres (21 in) launchers equipped with either the Type 53 torpedo
Type 53 torpedo
Type 53 is the common name for a family of 53 cm torpedoes manufactured in Russia, starting with the 53-27 torpedo and continuing to the modern UGST....

 on the Udaloy I class or RPK-2 Viyuga (SS-N-15) on the Udaloy II class, and the two RBU-6000
RBU-6000
The RBU-6000 Smerch-2 is a 213 mm caliber Soviet anti-submarine rocket launcher. It is similar in principle to the Royal Navy Hedgehog system used during the Second World War...

 anti-submarine launchers. The II class is Russia's only multipurpose destroyer. The armament of the class has been modified. The Metel Anti-Ship Complex is replaced with eight P-270 Moskit (SS-N-22 Sunburn) supersonic
Supersonic
Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound . For objects traveling in dry air of a temperature of 20 °C this speed is approximately 343 m/s, 1,125 ft/s, 768 mph or 1,235 km/h. Speeds greater than five times the speed of sound are often...

 sea-skimming anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missile
Anti-ship missiles are guided missiles that are designed for use against ships and large boats. Most anti-ship missiles are of the sea-skimming type, many use a combination of inertial guidance and radar homing...

. For air defense, each Udaloy is armed with four AK-630
AK-630
The AK-630 is a Soviet fully automatic naval close-in weapon system based on a six-barreled 30 mm Gatling gun. It is mounted in an enclosed automatic turret and directed by radar and television detection and tracking. The system's primary purpose is defense against anti-ship missiles and other...

 CIWSs, mounted parallel to each other mid ship. They also have two Kashtan
Kashtan
Kashtan is surname of:* Dror Kashtan , Israeli footballer and manager* William Kashtan , general secretary of the Communist Party of Canada- See also :* Kashtan CIWS * Kasztanka* Castanea* Kastania...

 CIWSs, each capable of engaging 6 targets automatically by either its armament of two GSh-6-30 gatling gun
Gatling gun
The Gatling gun is one of the best known early rapid-fire weapons and a forerunner of the modern machine gun. It is well known for its use by the Union forces during the American Civil War in the 1860s, which was the first time it was employed in combat...

s or four 9M311 (SA-N-11) surface-to-air missile
Surface-to-air missile
A surface-to-air missile or ground-to-air missile is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft or other missiles...

s. Finally, 64 3K95 Kinzhal (SA-N-9) medium-range point defense SAMs can be fired from vertical launching system
Vertical Launching System
A vertical launching system is a system for holding and firing missiles on surface ships and submarines used by many navies around the world. Each VLS system consists of a number of cells, which can hold one or more missiles ready for firing...

. Currently, a total of 8 Udaloy class destroyers are active, 7 of which are of the Udaloy I class and 1 is of the Udaloy II class.

Future destroyers


The last US Navy Spruance-class destroyer
Spruance class destroyer
The Spruance-class destroyer was developed by the United States to replace a large number of World War II-built Allen M. Sumner- and Gearing-class destroyers, and was the primary destroyer built for the U.S. Navy during the 1970s....

 in service, USS Cushing
USS Cushing (DD-985)
USS Cushing , named for Commander William Barker Cushing USN and was the fifth ship of the United States Navy to carry the name. Cushing was a built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Division of Litton Industries at Pascagoula, Mississippi...

, was decommissioned on September 21, 2005. The Zumwalt class
Zumwalt class destroyer
The Zumwalt class destroyer is a planned class of United States Navy destroyers, designed as multi-mission ships with a focus on land attack. The class is a scaled-back project that emerged after funding cuts to the larger DD-21 vessel program. The program was previously known as the "DD"...

 are planned to replace them; on November 1, 2001, the US Navy announced the issuance of a revised Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Future Surface Combatant Program. Formerly known as DD 21, the program will now be called DD(X) to more accurately reflect the program purpose, which is to produce a family of advanced technology surface combatants, not a single ship class. DD(X), also called Zumwalt class, is much larger than traditional destroyers, being nearly three thousand tons heavier than a Ticonderoga-class
Ticonderoga class cruiser
The Ticonderoga class of missile cruisers is a class of warships in the United States Navy, first ordered and authorized in FY 1978. The class uses phased-array radar and was originally planned as a class of destroyers...

 cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

 (c.12,500 tonnes, larger than most heavy cruiser
Heavy cruiser
The heavy cruiser was a type of cruiser, a naval warship designed for long range, high speed and an armament of naval guns roughly 203mm calibre . The heavy cruiser can be seen as a lineage of ship design from 1915 until 1945, although the term 'heavy cruiser' only came into formal use in 1930...

s from the World War II era). It will potentially employ advanced weaponry and an all-electric Integrated Power System; however, the construction programme was subsequently reduced to just two vessels, and there is currently only funding for three in total. With the retirement of the Spruance class, the Navy began commissioning an advanced variant of the Arleigh Burke class with expanded ASW capabilities, the Arleigh Burke Flight IIA, beginning with USS Oscar Austin
USS Oscar Austin (DDG-79)
USS Oscar Austin is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy.Oscar Austin is named for Private First Class Oscar P. Austin, USMC, a recipient of the Medal of Honor...

. , 30 of these vessels are in service, with at least six more under construction.

See also

  • List of destroyer classes
  • United States Navy 1975 ship reclassification
    United States Navy 1975 ship reclassification
    The United States Navy reclassified many of its surface vessels in 1975, changing terminology and hull classification symbols for cruisers, frigates, and ocean escorts.- Classification prior to 1975 :...

  • Bombardment of Cherbourg
    Bombardment of Cherbourg
    The Bombardment of Cherbourg was undertaken by ships of the United States Navy and Royal Navy on June 25, 1944 to support United States Army units engaged in the Battle of Cherbourg. The Allied force attacked the German fortifications near the city and engaged in a duel with coastal batteries...

    , See discussion section for ‘comprised’ versus ‘composed’ usage. See “The Destroyers” article section for a Task Force composed of ships from among five destroyer divisions and their compositions.

Further reading

  • Evans, David C. Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887–1941, Mark R. Peattie
    Mark Peattie
    Mark R. Peattie is an American academic and Japanologist. Peattie is a specialist in modern Japanese military, naval, and imperial history.-Career:...

    . Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland ISBN 0-87021-192-7
  • Gardiner, Robert (Editor). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships (1860–1905): Naval Institute Press, 1985.
  • Gove, Philip Babock (Editor in Chief). Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged. (2002) Merriam-Webster Inc., Publishers, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Grant, R. Captain. Before Port Arthur in a Destroyer; The Personal Diary of a Japanese Naval Officer. London, John Murray; first and second editions published in 1907.
  • Howe, Christopher. Origins of Japanese Trade Supremacy: Development and Technology in Asia from 1540 to the Pacific War, The University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-35485-7
  • Jentschura, Hansgeorg. Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland, 1977. ISBN 0-87021-893-X.
  • Lyon, David, The First Destroyers. Chatham Publishing, 1 & 2 Faulkner's Alley, Cowcross St. London, Great Britain; 1996. ISBN 1-55750-271-4.
  • Sanders, Michael S. (2001) The Yard: Building a Destroyer at the Bath Iron Works, HarperCollins, ISBN 9780060929633
  • Simpson, Richard V. Building The Mosquito Fleet, The US Navy's First Torpedo Boats. Arcadia Publishing, (2001); Charleston, South Carolina, USA. ISBN 0-7385-0508-0.
  • Preston, Anthony. Destroyers, Bison Books (London) 1977. ISBN 0-600-32955-0
  • Van der Vat, Dan. The Atlantic Campaign.
  • DD-963 Spruance-class
  • Navy Designates Next-Generation Zumwalt Destroyer

External links