Type 82 destroyer

The Type 82 destroyer was meant to follow the County Class destroyers into service as the destroyers then in use were upgraded ships from the 'Battle' class and 'Ca' class destroyers which only had limited lifespans. It was also envisaged that they would act as escorts to the new class of carrier under development (CVA-01).

The Type 82 (the first time a destroyer received a frigate-type designation) were to be roughly the same size as the 'County' class and have a Combined Steam and Gas Turbine (COSAG) propulsion. The armament was to consist of three elements - a new 4.5 inch gun, the Ikara anti-submarine missile and the Sea Dart surface-to-air missile. The Ikara missile consisted of a delta-winged rocket which carried a Mk 44 or 46 homing torpedo, and had a range of ten miles. The Sea Dart was a vast improvement over the Seaslug, being lighter, faster and more accurate. It travelled at Mach 3.5, had a range of some 50 miles and had semi-active radar homing (it was guided by the signals reflected by the ship's Type 909 radar).

The 4.5 inch gun had been in development for sometime, but was not intended for the anti-aircraft role, having a 55 degree elevation. The anti-aircraft role, it was assumed, had been taken up by missiles. It was intended as an anti-ship or shore bombardment weapon, although the Falklands War demonstrated. The ship had another interesting feature in that it had an Action Data Automated Weapons System that combined the information gleaned by the three radars (Types 965, 992 and 909) and two sonars (Types 170 and 184) to produce a continuous track for each target and evaluate the threat from each, and so control the engagement using the relevant weapon system.

Originally, four Type 82s were planned, with the possibility of another four which would replace the first four 'County' class destroyers. With the Labour Government's decision to cancel CVA-01 and run down the carrier fleet, the need for the Type 82s disappeared. But one ship was ordered, launched in 1969, and commissioned in 1973, HMS Bristol. It was designed to act as a test bed for the new weapon systems and hopefully for a new 3D radar that was being designed by the UK and the Netherlands. This eventually fell through, and HMS Bristol was equipped with standard Type 965. Initially lacking much of the electronic systems of operational ships and dogged with ill fortune, a major refit of 1976 - 77 brought her up the fully operational status with the addition of Corvus chaff launchers, UAA-1 Electronic Surveillance Measures equipment and two single 20mm guns. She served with the Falklands Task Force in 1982 and had her anti-aircraft armament increased with two twin 30mm mounts and two single GAM-B01 20mm mounts. In June 1984 a major refit was undertaken to repair damage caused by a boiler room explosion and install the Type 1022 radar. She became the fleet training ship in 1987.

How to cite this article: Antill, P. (6 April 2001), Type 82 destroyer, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_type82destroyer.html

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