Type 42 Class
Type 42 Destroyer was designed around the Sea Dart, medium range Surface-to-Air missile
system, to provide an air defence system for a Group of Warships.
Batch 1 and 2 ships were hampered by budget constraints during their design and construction. They were quite cramped and had limited room for additional equipment to be added during their service life. The batch 3 ships had additional beam and length which not only gave a larger Sea Dart magazine and room for additional equipment to be added, but also improved their seakeeping.
There were six ships in the first batch, and all commissioned between 1975 and 1979.
Four Batch 2 ships followed, the main difference being that they carried the more capable Type 1022 long-range radar, instead of Type 965 carried by the Batch 1 ships.
In the 1982 Falklands War the Type 42's provided a large proportion of the Fleet's air defence assets. During the fighting two Type 42's, Sheffield and Coventry were lost in action.
As a result of lessons learned during that war, all Type 42's were given 20mm and twin 30mm guns to replace or augment their original Oerlikon 20mm guns.
The final third Batch of four ships commissioned between 1982 and 1985, and had a lengthened bow which improved sea-worthiness.
From 1987 onwards a Vulcan/Phalanx CIWS replaced the twin 30mm mountings on either side of the funnel.
All Type 42's carry a Lynx helicopter armed with Sea Skua anti-ship missiles or ASW homing torpedoes. The torpedoes are dropped under the direction of the mother ship as the Lynx is not equipped with sonar.
Type 42's are due to be replaced by Type 45 Daring Class, Air Defence Destroyers. The first six of which have been ordered. Two of which are in service Mar-2011.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.