Type 42 destroyer
The Type 42 or Sheffield class, was a class of fourteen light guided missile destroyers that served in the Royal Navy. A further two ships of this class were built for and served with the Argentine Navy.
|Builders:||Vickers, Cammell-Laird, Swan Hunter, Vosper Thorneycroft, CFNE Argentina|
|Subclasses:||Batches 1, 2 and 3|
|Active:||Argentina: 1 (as transport)|
|Lost:||UK: 2 (Falklands War)|
|Installed power:||50,000 shp (37 MW)|
|Range:||4,200 nmi (7,800 km; 4,800 mi) single Tyne RM1C/other shaft trailing at 13.8 kn (25.6 km/h; 15.9 mph)|
|Boats & landing |
|Sensors and |
|Electronic warfare |
UAA2/ UAFDLH Decoy system
|Aviation facilities:||Flight deck and enclosed hangar for embarking one helicopter|
The first ship of the class was ordered in 1968 and launched in 1971. Two of the class (Sheffield and Coventry) were sunk in action during the Falklands War of 1982. The Royal Navy used this class of destroyer for 38 years between 1975 and 2013.
No ships of this class remain active in the Royal Navy and just one remains in the Argentine Navy. The Royal Navy has replaced them with Type 45 destroyers.
The class was designed in the late 1960s to provide fleet area air-defence. In total fourteen vessels were constructed in three batches. In addition to the Royal Navy ships, two more ships were built to the same specifications as the Batch 1 vessels for the Argentine Navy. Hércules was built in the UK and Santísima Trinidad in the AFNE Rio Santiago shipyard in Buenos Aires.
Sheffield and Coventry were lost in the Falklands War to enemy action. This was the first conflict when surface warships of the same design have been on opposite sides since World War II, when four Flower-class corvettes built for France in 1939 were taken over by the Kriegsmarine in 1940. The final ship of the class (Edinburgh) decommissioned on 6 June 2013. One Argentine Navy ship (Hércules) remains in service, the other vessel (Santísima Trinidad) sank whilst alongside in Puerto Belgrano Naval Base in early 2013.
When the Type 82 air-defence destroyers were cancelled along with the proposed CVA-01 carrier by the Labour Government of 1966, the Type 42 was proposed as a lighter and cheaper design with similar capabilities to the Type 82. The class is fitted with the GWS30 Sea Dart surface-to-air missile first deployed on the sole Type 82 destroyer, Bristol. The Type 42s were also given a flight deck and hangar to operate an anti-submarine warfare helicopter, greatly increasing their utility compared to the Type 82, which was fitted with a flight deck but no organic aviation facilities.
The design was budgeted with a ceiling of £19 million per hull but soon ran over-budget. The original proposed design (£21 million) was similar to the lengthened 'Batch 3' Type 42s. To cut costs, the first two batches had 47 feet removed from the bow sections forward of the bridge, and the beam-to-length ratio was proportionally reduced. These early, batch 1 Type 42s performed poorly during the contractor's sea trials particularly in heavy seas, and the hull was extensively examined for other problems. Batch 2 vessels (Exeter onwards) embodied better sensors fits, and slight layout modifications. The ninth hull, Manchester, was lengthened in build, as part of an extensive design review. This proved a better hull form at sea and later hulls were built to this specification, although minor equipment and hull layout changes made the remaining ships all unique in their own way. Strengthening girders were later designed into the weather deck structure in the batch 1 and 2 ships, and the batch 3 ships received an external 'strake' to counter longitudinal cracking.
Remaining Type 42s
The surviving Argentine Type 42, Hércules, is based at Puerto Belgrano, Argentina, and has been converted into an amphibious command ship through the addition of a new aft superstructure and hangar. It was originally fitted with four single Exocet missile launchers, two either side of the funnel facing forward but these were removed during refit. The other Argentine vessel, Santísima Trinidad, capsized and sank alongside her berth at Puerto Belgrano on 22 January 2013, reportedly as a result of poor maintenance and negligence leading to a burst seawater main and catastrophic flooding. Prior to her demise, Santísima Trinidad was extensively cannibalised for spare parts for her more active sister ship. In December 2015, she was refloated and placed in drydock to evaluate the cost of restoration as a museum ship. Finally, due to the very high cost required, it was decided to scrap her in 2016.
The Type 42 destroyer was built to fill the gap left by the cancellation of the large Type 82 destroyer. It was intended to fulfil the same role, with similar systems on a smaller and more cost-effective hull. The ships are primarily carriers for the GWS-30 Sea Dart surface-to-air missile system. The first batch had the 965 or 966 surveillance radar which had a "slow data-rate". The Type 992Q radar used to designate targets for the gun and missiles lacked Moving Target Indiction (MTI). Though "British radar manufacturers [had] offered to retrofit MTI to these radars... nothing was done." Without MTI the Type 992Q had difficulty in tracking aircraft when land was behind the aircraft or when there were snow or rain showers. The Type 42 also had "insufficient space for an efficient operations room", which slowed the work rate and made early Type 42s, notably the lead ship Sheffield, very difficult to fight in. Although often described as obsolete, the Type 42 still proved effective against modern missile threats during the 1991 Gulf War.
The Type 42 is also equipped with a 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun and earlier vessels shipped six Ships Torpedo Weapon System (STWS) torpedo launchers. Two Vulcan Phalanx Mk 15 close-in weapon systems (CIWS) were fitted to British Type 42s in way of the carried 27-foot whaler and Cheverton launch after the loss of Sheffield to an Exocet missile. There have been three batches of ships, batch 1 and 2 displacing 4,820 tonnes and batch 3 (sometimes referred to as the Manchester class) displacing 5,200 tonnes. The batch 3 ships were heavily upgraded, though the proposed Sea Wolf systems upgrades were never fitted. Because of their more general warfare role, both Argentine ships were fitted with the MM38 Exocet, and not with a CIWS.
The electronics suite includes one Type 1022 D band long-range radar with Outfit LFB track extractor or one Type 965P long-range air surveillance radar, one Type 996 E band/F band 3D radar for target indication with Outfit LFA track extractor or type 992Q surface search, two Type 909 I/J-band fire-control radars and an Outfit LFD radar track combiner.
All ships were propelled by Rolls Royce TM3B Olympus and Rolls Royce RM1C Tyne marinised gas turbines, arranged in a COGOG (combined gas or gas) arrangement, driving through synchronous self-shifting clutches into a double-reduction, dual tandem, articulated, locked-train gear system and out through two five-bladed controllable pitch propellers. All have four Paxman Ventura 16YJCAZ diesel generators, each generating 1 megawatt of three-phase electric power (440 V 60 Hz).
The first of class, Sheffield, was initially fitted with the odd-looking "Mickey Mouse" ears on her funnel tops which were in fact exhaust deflectors - "Loxton bends" - for the Rolls Royce Olympus TM1A gas turbines, to guide the high-temperature exhaust efflux sidewards and minimise damage to overhead aerials. As this provided a prominent target for then-new infrared homing missiles, only Sheffield and both the Argentinian Hércules and Santísima Trinidad had these 'ears'. All subsequent Olympus and Tyne uptakes were fitted with 'cheese graters' which mixed machinery space vent air with the engine exhaust to reduce infrared signatures.
Availability and use of the Type 42
This class was originally conceived to be a stopper for long-range strategic bombers from the former Soviet long range aviation and as area defence for carrier battle groups. As world political climates shifted, so too the role of the Type 42 followed. The class reached its operational zenith during the Falklands War with seven ships partaking in Operation Corporate and the immediate aftermath. The Type 42 provided a capable long-range defence against Argentine air force assets, scoring three confirmed kills. With their weaknesses exposed - Sheffield was hit and disabled by a long-range first generation air-to-surface missile and sank six days later, Coventry was sunk by conventional iron bombs and Glasgow was disabled by a single bomb which passed straight through her aft engine room without exploding - an extensive rethink was conducted and future iterations in and out of build and refit contained upgrades but limited by the Type 42's ageing overall design. Later uses included Gulf War 1, when Gloucester struck and eliminated a large, land-based surface to surface missile with her Sea Dart missile system. More often than not, Type 42s were called upon to carry out fleet contingency ship duties, West Indies counter drugs operations and Falkland Islands patrol, NATO Mediterranean and Atlantic task group operations and Persian Gulf patrols. There was essentially no task this ship class was not engaged in over its near forty-year collective career. As far as value-for-money is concerned, notwithstanding its ability to burn fifteen tonnes per hour of marine diesel at top speed and a large, cramped ships' company, this class provided the UK with considerable ability during a very changeable political, economic and military background of change. The deployment of Type 23s in lieu of Type 42s to high-intensity mission areas became more prevalent as serviceability and reliability issues dogged Type 42s availability, as has obsolescence of their combat and machinery system equipment. The 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review sounded a death knell for these venerable warships and they have all been decommissioned and in most cases scrapped.
|Pennant||Name||(a) Hull builder||Ordered||Laid down||Launched||Accepted into service||Commissioned||Estimated building cost|
|Royal Navy – batch 1|
|D80||Sheffield||Vickers Shipbuilders Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness.||14 November 1968||15 January 1970||10 June 1971||16 February 1975||16 February 1975||£23,200,000|
|D86||Birmingham||Cammell Laird & Co, Birkenhead.||21 May 1971||28 March 1972||30 July 1973||26 November 1976||3 December 1976||£31,000,000|
|D87||Newcastle||Swan Hunter Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne.||11 November 1971||21 February 1973||24 April 1975||25 February 1978||23 March 1978||£34,600,000|
|D118||Coventry||Cammell Laird & Co, Birkenhead.||21 May 1971||29 January 1973||21 June 1974||20 October 1978||10 November 1978||£37,900,000|
|D88||Glasgow||Swan Hunter Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne.||11 November 1971||16 April 1974||14 April 1976||9 March 1979||24 May 1979||£36,900,000|
|D108||Cardiff||Vickers Shipbuilders Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness (to launching stage)
Swan Hunter Ltd, Hebburn (for completion).
|10 June 1971||6 November 1972||22 February 1974||22 September 1979||24 September 1979||£40,500,000|
|Royal Navy – batch 2|
|D89||Exeter||Swan Hunter Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne.||22 January 1976||22 July 1976||25 April 1978||30 August 1980||19 September 1980||£60,100,000|
|D90||Southampton||Vosper Thornycroft Ltd, Woolston.||17 March 1976||21 October 1976||29 January 1979||17 August 1981||31 October 1981||£67,500,000|
|D92||Liverpool||Cammell Laird & Co, Birkenhead.||27 May 1977||5 July 1978||25 September 1980||12 May 1982||1 July 1982||£92,800,000|
|D91||Nottingham||Vosper Thornycroft Ltd, Woolston.||1 March 1977||6 February 1978||18 February 1980||22 December 1982||14 April 1983||£82,100,000|
|Royal Navy – batch 3|
|D95||Manchester||Vickers Shipbuilders Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness.||10 November 1978||19 May 1978||24 November 1980||19 November 1982||16 December 1982||£110,000,000|
|D98||York||Swan Hunter Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne.||25 April 1979||18 January 1980||21 June 1982||25 March 1985||9 August 1985||£118,700,000|
|D96||Gloucester||Vosper Thornycroft Ltd, Woolston.||27 March 1979||29 October 1979||2 November 1982||16 May 1985||11 September 1985||£120,800,000|
|D97||Edinburgh||Cammell Laird & Co, Birkenhead.||25 April 1979||8 September 1980||13 April 1983||25 July 1985||17 December 1985||£130,600,000|
|Argentine Republic Navy– batch 1|
|D1||Hércules||Vickers Shipbuilders Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness.||18 May 1970||16 June 1971||24 October 1972||10 May 1976||12 July 1976|
|D2||Santísima Trinidad||AFNE, Rio Santiago, Argentina.||18 May 1970||11 October 1971||9 November 1974||1 July 1981|
In May 1982, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Jerry Wiggin) stated that the current replacement cost of a Type 42 destroyer of the Sheffield class was "about £120 million." In July 1984, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (John Lee) stated: "the average cost of the three Type 42 destroyers currently under construction is £117 million at 1983–84 price levels."
Not including major refits and upgrades
Including refits and upgrades
In May 2000, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (John Spellar) stated: "The running costs of each of the Royal Navy's Type 42 destroyers for each of the past five years are contained in the following table. This includes repair and maintenance, manpower, fuel and other costs such as port and harbour dues. Year-on-year variations are largely attributable to refit periods."
In February 1998, the Minister of State for Defence, Dr Reid said: "Type 42 destroyers achieved approximately 84 to 86 per cent average availability for operational service in each of the last five years. This discounts time spent in planned maintenance."
Fate of ships
|D80||Sheffield||Portsmouth||16 February 1975||Sunk in Falklands War 4 May 1982|
|D86||Birmingham||Portsmouth||3 December 1976||Decommissioned 31 December 1999||Scrapped October 2000|
|D88||Glasgow||Portsmouth||25 May 1977||Decommissioned 1 February 2005||Scrapped December 2008|
|D87||Newcastle||Portsmouth||23 March 1978||Decommissioned 1 February 2005||Scrapped November 2008|
|D118||Coventry||Portsmouth||20 October 1978||Sunk in Falklands War 25 May 1982|
|D108||Cardiff||Portsmouth||24 September 1979||Decommissioned 14 July 2005||Scrapped November 2008|
|D89||Exeter||Portsmouth||18 September 1980||Decommissioned 27 May 2009||Scrapped September 2011|
|D90||Southampton||Portsmouth||31 October 1981||Decommissioned 12 February 2009||Scrapped October 2011|
|D92||Liverpool||Portsmouth||9 July 1982||Decommissioned 30 March 2012||Scrapped October 2014|
|D91||Nottingham||Portsmouth||8 April 1983||Decommissioned 11 February 2010||Scrapped October 2011|
|D95||Manchester||Portsmouth||16 December 1982||Decommissioned 24 February 2011||Scrapped November 2014|
|D98||York||Portsmouth||9 August 1985||Decommissioned 27 September 2012||Scrapped August 2015|
|D96||Gloucester||Portsmouth||11 September 1985||Decommissioned 30 June 2011||Scrapped September 2015|
|D97||Edinburgh||Portsmouth||17 December 1985||Decommissioned 6 June 2013||Scrapped August 2015|
|Navy of the Argentine Republic|
|Hércules||Puerto Belgrano||12 July 1976||Transformed in a multi-purpose transport ship since 2000. Active.|
|D-2||Santísima Trinidad||Puerto Belgrano||1 July 1981||Decommissioned in 2004.
Intended to become a naval museum, but sank, as a result of negligence, off Puerto Belgrano on 22 January 2013. She was refloated in December 2015 and moved to a drydock to evaluate her restoration as a museum ship. But due to serious damage and lack of funds, she was destined to be scrapped in 2016.
|Undergoing for scrapping since 2016.|
The UK ships are all now decommissioned. By 2007 none of the batch 1 vessels remained in commission. Initially the UK sought to procure replacements first in collaboration with seven other NATO nations under the NFR-90 project and then with France and Italy through the Horizon CNGF programme. However, both these collaborative ventures failed and the UK decided to go it alone with a national project.
The UK Type 42s are succeeded by six Type 45 destroyers. Daring, Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon, Defender and Duncan are all in commission. The Type 42 class suffered from cramped accommodation, a problem for crew safety and comfort, and also when finding space for upgrades. The Type 45s are considerably larger, displacing 7,500 tonnes, compared to the Type 42 displacement of 3,600 tonnes.
- The term used in Navy Estimates and Defence Estimates is "accepted into service". Hansard has used the term acceptance date. Leo Marriott in his various books uses the term "completed", as does Jane's Fighting Ships. These terms all mean the same thing: the date the Navy accepts the vessel from the builder. This date is important because maintenance cycles, etc. are generally calculated from the acceptance date.
- "Unit cost, i.e. excluding cost of certain items (e.g. aircraft, First Outfits)." – Text from Defences Estimates
"They do not include other costs, such as those for Government Furnished Equipment (GFE)—as they are not held centrally for each ship and could be provided only at disproportionate cost." Bob Ainsworth, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, 16 July 2008.
- These two sources are in agreement about the dates vessels were commissioned, with the following exceptions:
- Sheffield: Marriott 28 February 1975. Hansard 16 February 1975.
- Glasgow: Marriott 25 May 1979. Hansard 24 May 1979.
- Cardiff: Marriott 19 October 1979. Hansard 24 September 1979.
- Nottingham: Marriott 8 April 1983. Hansard 14 April 1983.
- Liverpool: Marriott 9 July 1982. Hansard 1 July 1982.
- Moore, John Jane's Fighting Ships, 1982–83, pub Jane's Publishing Co Ltd, 1982, ISBN 0-7106-0742-3-page 553 said £40.4 million.
Marriott, Leo Modern Combat Ships 3, Type 42, pub Ian Allan, 1985, ISBN 0-7110-1453-1-page 15 said £40.4 million.
Aldrich, Richard James Intelligence, Defence, and Diplomacy: British Policy in the Post-War World. Taylor & Francis, pub 1994, ISBN 0-7146-4140-5 page 119 says: "One example of how delay in procurement programmes can raise costs is the construction of the Type-42 destroyer HMS Cardiff. Vickers Shipbuilders had originally intended to deliver the vessel in 1975 for a total cost of £15 million. Owing to difficulties in recruiting labourer to work on construction the ship was only completed in 1978 and cost double the original price (over £30 million)." On page 129 it gives the source of this cost data as: "Fourth Report from the Committee on Public Accounts, 1976–77 (H.C. 304), April 1977, pp xii–xiii and Q. 92."
The cost quoted in Aldrich is from a source written before the completion of the vessel, and so is less complete than the cost quoted in Jane's and Marriott, which were written after completion of the vessel, and are nearly the same as the Hansard figure.
- Sharpe, Richard, Jane's Fighting Ships 1992–93, pub Janes Information Group, 1992, ISBN 0-7106-0983-3, p696-7
- Heyman, Charles The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom 1999–2000, pub Pen and Sword, 1998, ISBN 978-0-85052-621-9, P 40-41
- Royal Navy (11 July 2013). "A Global Force 2012/13" (pdf). Newsdesk Media. ISBN 978-1-906940-75-1. Complement as of 24 April 2013
- Marriott, Leo: Royal Navy Destroyers since 1945, ISBN 0-7110-1817-0, Ian Allan Ltd, 1989
- Marriott, Leo Modern Combat Ships 3, Type 42, pub Ian Allan, 1985, ISBN 0-7110-1453-1-page 28.
- Purvis, M.K., 'Post War RN Frigate and Guided Missile Destroyer Design 1944-1969', Transactions, Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), 1974
- "Falklands warship sinks in Argentina". The Daily Telegraph. 23 January 2013. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "El Santísima Trinidad no será museo y finalmente será raleado - El Rosalenio Digital - Punta Alta". elrosalenio (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 6 December 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
- A Preston. Sea Combat off the Falklands. Willow Collins. (1982)London, p 112-113
- Hansard: HC Deb 23 October 1989 vol 158 cc357-8W 357W Archived 4 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Question to the Secretary of State for Defence regarding warship costs, 23 October 1989. This section is the first part of the table that is continued on Hansard: HC Deb 23 October 1989 vol 158 c360W Archived 4 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- 16 July 2008 : Column 452W Archived 28 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine Questions to Secretary of the State for Defence, 16 July 2008.
Marriott, Leo Modern Combat Ships 3, Type 42, pub Ian Allan, 1985, ISBN 0-7110-1453-1-page 28.
- Hansard: HC Deb 23 October 1989 vol 158 cc357-8W 357W Archived 4 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Question to the Secretary of State for Defence regarding warship costs, 23 October 1989.
Marriott, Leo Modern Combat Ships 3, Type 42, pub Ian Allan, 1985, ISBN 0-7110-1453-1-page 15.
Moore, John Jane's Fighting Ships, 1982–83, pub Jane's Publishing Co Ltd, 1982, ISBN 0-7106-0742-3-page 553.
- Hansard: HC Deb 23 October 1989 vol 158 cc357-8W 357W Archived 4 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Question to the Secretary of State for Defence regarding warship costs, 23 October 1989 says 26 November 1976.
Marriott, Leo Modern Combat Ships 3, Type 42, pub Ian Allan, 1985, ISBN 0-7110-1453-1-page 28 says October 1976.
- Hansard: HC Deb 23 October 1989 vol 158 cc357-8W 357W Archived 4 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Question to the Secretary of State for Defence regarding warship costs, 23 October 1989 says £31.0 million.
Moore, John Jane's Fighting Ships, 1982–83, pub Jane's Publishing Co Ltd, 1982, ISBN 0-7106-0742-3-page 553 says £30.9 million.
- Moore, John Jane's Fighting Ships, 1982–83, pub Jane's Publishing Co Ltd, 1982, ISBN 0-7106-0742-3-page 553.
- Hansard: HC Deb 23 October 1989 vol 158 cc357-8W 357W Archived 4 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Question to the Secretary of State for Defence regarding warship costs, 23 October 1989 says £40.5 million.
- Hansard HC Deb 23 October 1989 vol 158 cc358-61W Archived 4 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Questions to the Secretary of State for Defence, 23 October 1989.
- Hansard HC Deb 27 May 1982 vol 24 c397W Archived 18 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Question to the Secretary of State for Defence about the current replacement cost of a Type 42 destroyer of the Sheffield class., 27 May 1982
- Hansard HC Deb 23 July 1984 vol 64 c534W Archived 8 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Question to the Secretary of State for Defence about the latest cost estimate of aTtype 42 destroyer, 23 July 1984.
- Hansard HC Deb 16 July 1982 vol 27 cc485-6W Archived 9 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Question to the Secretary of State for Defence about operating costs of naval vessels, 16 July 1982.
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- "Hansard 9 Sep 2009, Column 2001W". Archived from the original on 19 April 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- 24 November 2010 Written Answers
- Hansard HC Deb 22 May 2000 vol 350 cc318-9W Archived 11 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine Question to the Secretary of State for Defence about operating costs of naval vessels, 22 May 2000.
- Hansard 5 Feb 1998 : Column: 762 Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Answer by Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Reid, 5 February 1998.
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