^ HMS Sheffield, first of class.Introduction
The Type 42 or Sheffield class, were light guided missile destroyers used by the Royal Navy. The first ship of the class was ordered in 1968 and launched in 1971. Two of the class (Sheffield and Coventry) were lost in action during the Falklands Conflict 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, having replaced them with the 'Daring' class Type 45 destroyers.History
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 Conflict 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."Mickey Mouse" ears
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 the new infrared homing missiles, only Sheffield 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.Design details
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 were limited by obsolete 965 or 966 surveillance radar which was slow processing and lacked an effective moving-target indicator for over-land tracking. A very cramped operations room slowed the work rate and made early Type 42s, notably the lead ship Sheffield, very difficult to fight. 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).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, if limited, long range reach against Argentine air force assets, confirming three 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 better upgrades, but limited by the Type 42s now 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 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.Batch 1
(Overall Length: 125.6 m (412 ft))
1. HMS Sheffield (D80) Commissioned 1975. Lost in the Falklands Conflict, 1982.
2. HMS Birmingham (D86) Commissioned 1976. Decommissioned 1999. Scrapped 2000.
3. HMS Glasgow (D88) Commissioned 1977. Decommissioned 2005. Scrapped 2008.
4. HMS Newcastle (D87) Commissioned 1978. Decommissioned 2005. Scrapped 2008.
5. HMS Coventry (D118) Commissioned 1978. Lost in the Falklands Conflict, 1982.
6. HMS Cardiff (D108) Commissioned 1979. Decommissioned 2005. Scrapped 2008.Batch 2
(Overall Length: 125.6 m (412 ft))
7. HMS Exeter (D89) Commissioned 1980. Decommissioned 2009. Scrapped 2011.
8. HMS Southampton (D90) Commissioned 1981. Decommissioned 2009. Scrapped 2011.
9. HMS Liverpool (D92) Commissioned 1982. Decommissioned 2012. Scrapped 2014.
10. HMS Nottingham (D91) Commissioned 1983. Decommissioned 2010. Scrapped 2011.Batch 3 ('Stretched T42')
(Overall Length: 141.1 m (462.8 ft))
11. HMS Manchester (D95) Commissioned 1982. Decommissioned 2011. Scrapped 2014.
12. HMS Gloucester (D96) Commissioned 1985. Decommissioned 2011. Fate: Towed to Turkey for scrapping, 22nd September 2015.
13. HMS Edinburgh (D97) Commissioned 1985. Decommissioned 2013. Fate: Towed to Turkey for scrapping, 12th August 2015.
14. HMS York (D98) Commissioned 1985. Decommissioned 2012. Fate: Towed to Turkey for scrapping, 19th August 2015.Class and type:
Type 42 destroyerDisplacement:
Batch 1 & 2:
3,500 long tons (3,600 t) standard,
4,100 long tons (4,200 t) or 4,350 tons full load
Batch 3: 3,500 long tons (3,600 t) standard,
4,775 long tons (4,852 t) or 5,350 tons full loadLength:
Batch 1 & 2: 119.5 m (392 ft) waterline,
125 m (412 ft) or 125.6 m (412 ft) overall
Batch 3: 132.3 m (434 feet) waterline,
141.1 m (462.8 ft) overallBeam:
Batch 1 & 2: 14.3 m (47 ft)
Batch 3: 14.9 m (49 ft)Draught:
Batch 1, 2 & 3: 4.2 m (13.9 ft) keel,
screws 5.8 m (19 feet)Decks:
2 shafts COGOG;
2 x Rolls-Royce Olympus TM3B high-speed gas turbines, (50,000 shp (37.5 MW))
2 x Rolls-Royce Tyne RM1C cruise gas turbines, (5,340 shp (6 MW))Speed:
30 knots (2 x Olympus)
24 knots (1 Olympus and 1 Tyne per shaft)
20 knots(1 x Olympus)
18 knots (2 x Tyne)
13.8 knots(1 x Tyne)Range:
4200 nm single Tyne RM1C/other shaft trailing at 13.8 knotsBoats and landing craft carried:
Batch 1 & 2: 253 (inc 24 officers) or 274, accommodation for 312
Batch 3: 269 (2013); 301 (inc 26 officers)(1993)
Batch 1, 2 & 3: 24 officers and 229 ratingsSensors and processing systems:
Radar Type 1022/965P air surveillance,
Radar Type 996/992Q 3-D surveillance,
2× Radar Type 909 GWS-30 fire-control,
Radar Type 1007 navigation,
Sonar Type 2050 / 2016 search,
Sonar Type 162 bottom profiling,Electronic warfare and decoys:
1× twin launcher for GWS-30 Sea Dart missiles (22 missiles, space was reserved for an additional 15 in Batch 3)
1× 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun
2× 20 mm Phalanx CIWS (after Falklands Conflict)
2× Oerlikon / BMARC 20 mm L/70 KAA guns in GAM-B01 single mounts
2 x triple anti-submarine torpedo tubesAircraft carried:
1× Westland Lynx HAS / HMA Armed with 4× anti ship missiles, 2× anti submarine torpedoesAviation facilities:
Flight deck and enclosed hangar for embarking one helicopter
^ HMS Manchester, first of the 'Stretched' Batch 3 Type 42 destroyers.