The destroyer is a class of multi-purpose high-speed ships designed to combat enemy air, surface and submarine forces. The tasks of the destroyers include the escorting of sea convoys and formations of warships, patrolling, cover and fire support of amphibious assault forces, observation and reconnaissance, setting of minefields, search and rescue and special operations. In the 21st century, specific tasks were added to the “traditional” missions of squadron destroyers: delivering strikes against targets in the depths of the continent using high-precision weapons, Missile defense on a strategic scale (Theater Air Defense) and the destruction of objects in low-Earth orbit.
Sometimes they are scornfully called "tinsticks." It would seem an offensive comparison, but the British sailors, on the contrary, are proud of the derogatory nickname of their ships: after all, “can” (tin) sounds to the British ear like “can”! Maybe the destroyer is a lot ...
Small brave ships fought on a par with battleships and aircraft carriers, bravely enduring damage from enemy fire. The compartments flared and the hull set collapsed, the deck writhing in a raging flame — but the guns of the surviving guns glittered, anti-aircraft guns crackled endlessly and torpedoes plunged into the water with a dull roar. The destroyer went to his last attack. And when he received a mortal wound - he was hiding in the sea foam, and without lowering the flag in the face of the enemy.
Monument to the destroyer "Steregushchy" in St. Petersburg. The second monument to the crew of the guardian was installed in Japan - the enemy was filled with respect for the Russian sailors
The feat of the destroyer "Steregushchy", which alone took the battle with the Japanese squadron near the walls of Port Arthur. When four seamen from the crew of 50 survived, the heroes with the last effort flooded their ship.
The destroyer "Johnston", which saved the American aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Leyte. The antenna of the radar dangled among the gear, all the decks were covered with debris and torn seamen’s bodies. Growing roll. But "Johnston" stubbornly crawled forward, closing the carrier ships with a saving shroud of smoke. Until another Japanese projectile gutted the engine room of the destroyer.
The legendary Soviet destroyer "Thunderer", the heroic ships "Johnston", "Hole" and "Samuel B. Roberts" ... sinking Israeli destroyer "Eilat" ... the British destroyer "Coventry" fighting off Argentine Air Force planes ... launching dozens of "Tomahawks" destroyer US Navy type "Orly Burke" ...
Surprisingly, in each case we are talking about completely different ships - different in size, characteristics and purpose. And the matter is not at all in the notorious difference in age - even peer destroyers often have such major differences that they de facto belong to different classes.
The notion of a destroyer as a “small universal ship” is not true. Real life is far from any stereotypes - each warship is built for a specific task; for actions in predetermined conditions (in the coastal zone, in open sea areas, in conditions of possible use of nuclear weapons, etc.); against a previously known enemy (the United States and Japan had suspected about the upcoming war in the Pacific since the beginning of the twentieth century). An important factor is the financial potential of a single state, the level of development of its science and the potential of its industry. All this unambiguously sets the appearance of the future ship and influences the definition of the range of its priority tasks.
I invite readers to check which ships are hiding behind the banal phrase “destroyer” and which unexpected solutions are sometimes offered by shipbuilders.
First of all, be sure to note that destroyers are "real" and "fake". On these destroyers will be discussed below. As for the "fake", it is, most often, modest ships, which in their size and combat capabilities do not meet any of the requirements for destroyers of their generation. At best, these are frigates. At worst - anything, right up to the rocket boat.
However, with a slight stroke of the pen, and in spite of all enemies, they are enrolled in the honorary caste of destroyers. Typical propaganda and the desire to seem better than it actually is.
"Cheap Ponte" usually ends in failure - having encountered any serious enemy, the "pseudo-destroyer" releases steam from the punched boards and proudly sinks onto the seabed.
The infamous destroyer Eilat, sunk by Egyptian missile boats in October 1967. He is the former British destroyer HMS Zealous, launched in 1944 year. It is fair to admit that at the time of entry into service, HMS Zealous looked depressed against the background of its peers - American, Japanese or German destroyers. Plain, outdated ship, 2000 total tonnes of displacement - not enough for a destroyer, even by the standards of World War II.
And here are the other “outsiders” - the British destroyers of type 42 (better known as the “Sheffield”). By the end of the 1970s, degradation fleet Her Majesty reached such a scale that these unfortunate pelvis with a displacement of 4500 tons had to be credited to the destroyers - for comparison, the American and Soviet destroyers of those years were twice as large, and in terms of combat capabilities they generally exceeded Sheffield by an order of magnitude.
The consequences were not long in coming - during the Falkland War 1982, British replicas of warships were beaten with regular bombs from subsonic jet attack aircraft. A ringing slap on the fleet of Her Majesty.
(however, the British made of this stories certain conclusions - the 2-i and 3-i modification of the Sheffield turned out much better)
HMS Sheffield after a fire on board caused by an unexploded rocket
Now, excluding from consideration of the "fake", let's move on to the real destroyers - the remarkable combat systems that have become the "thunderstorm of the seas."
The first subspecies of destroyers - the destroyers of air defense.
The name speaks for itself, the ships are focused on the fight against air targets and, it must be admitted, the efforts of the designers were not in vain. Modern maritime SAMs allow you to control the space hundreds of kilometers from the ship’s side - if there is a destroyer of air defense in the warrant, an air attack on a squadron becomes an extremely risky and ineffective venture: even a supersonic anti-ship missile going at the utmost low altitude does not guarantee a breakthrough through the destroyer’s “invincible shield” air defense.
The idea of the destroyer of air defense is not new - such ships have been known since the Second World War. For example, the Japanese destroyer "Akizuki". Despite Japan’s serious lag in radio engineering and fire control systems, the Japanese managed to create a fairly successful destroyer with a total displacement of 3700 tons, which became one of the best destroyers of the Second World War. Exceptionally powerful anti-aircraft weapons (not by quality, by quantity - up to 60 barrels of anti-aircraft guns of all calibers!) + Incredible fuel autonomy (a full supply of fuel oil was enough for 8000 miles away)!
In our time, the undisputed favorite is the British "Daring" (45 type destroyer). In terms of dealing with air targets, "Deringu" is not equal. What is it worth one super-radar with an active phased array or a set of anti-aircraft missiles with an active homing head capable of getting an enemy aircraft below the radio horizon? Beautiful, powerful and modern ship, the pride of the fleet of Her Majesty.
HMS Dragon (D35) - the fourth to destroyer type 45
The second subspecies - "shock" destroyers.
These include destroyers, "sharpened" for the destruction of enemy ships, as well as having any special abilities for fire support of amphibious assault forces or launching missile and artillery strikes at coastal targets. Nowadays, their number is rapidly decreasing - ships are becoming more and more universal, however, the idea of a “shock destroyer” is rarely realized in the form of absolutely fantastic structures.
The destroyer of the project 956 (code "Sarych"). Rocket-artillery ship with automatic guns caliber 130 mm and supersonic anti-ship missiles "Mosquito". The classic strike destroyer, with a weakened air defense and anti-aircraft defense.
The second prominent representative is the Chinese destroyer type 052 “Lanzhou” (currently obsolete). Very mediocre capabilities in terms of anti-aircraft and anti-submarine defense, but on board the "Lanzhou" whole 16 anti-ship missiles!
Chinese destroyer Qingdao (DDG-113). The Stars and Stripes is just a gesture of courtesy during a visit to Pearl Harbor.
And of course, you can not ignore the incredible destroyer "Zamvolt"! Fantastic stealth ship, “Pentagon silver bullet” - the euphoria around the promising American destroyer has not subsided for almost 10 years. In addition to unusual, futuristic forms, the project attracted public attention with an unusual composition of weapons - for the first time in the past half century, two automated AGS guns of 155 mm are planned to be installed on a warship. 10 firing rate / min. High-precision projectile firing range - more than 100 kilometers!
Moving along the enemy coast, the invisible stealth destroyer will bombard enemy ports, coastal cities and military bases with its six-inch shells. And for “difficult targets” on board the Zamvolt, 80 UVP are provided for launching anti-aircraft missiles and cruise robots-kamikaze "Tomahawk".
The third subspecies - Large anti-submarine ships or PLO destroyers
During the Cold War, the threat from ballistic-missile nuclear submarines was so great that both superpowers struggled to saturate the fleet with anti-submarine weapons. As a result - BOD - large destroyers with hypertrophied anti-submarine weapons appeared in the composition of the USSR Navy. The monstrous 700-tonne sonar stations, anti-submarine missile torpedoes, anti-submarine helicopter, rocket bombers and anti-submarine torpedoes are all means to detect and destroy enemy SSBNs!
The Yankees moved in a similar direction - “to have an anti-submarine frigate or a destroyer for each Soviet submarine.” One of the results of this approach was a large series of destroyers of the Spruens type. In the ranks of the US Navy, these ships performed the function of our BOD, with some adjustments to the universality of weapons. A notable feature of the Spryuans was the absence of a collective defense air defense system - the destroyers' air defense was rather weak and ineffective.
A good ship in all respects has become even better with the advent of vertical missile launch installations - six dozen Tomahawks turned the Sprewens into a real destroyer.
Fourth subspecies - helicopter destroyers
The specific invention of the Japanese genius. Nostalgia for the glorious times of Pearl Harbor. Constitutional ban on aircraft carriers and strike weapons. Serious threat from the Soviet submarine fleet.
All this determined the appearance of the Japanese destroyers: the main armament was helicopters. From 3 to 11 rotary-wing machines on board, depending on the type of ship. However, on board each of the Japanese destroyers, helicopter carriers, there are a number of built-in weapons: from artillery shells to air defense systems and anti-submarine rocket-torpedoes.
Helicopter destroyer "Haruna"
Helicopter destroyer "Hyuga". Sizes similar to UDC "Mistral"
Fifth subspecies - universal destroyers
Rare, but very cool type of destroyers. There used to be a lot of them, now almost the only “Orly Burk” and its derivatives remain. China is working in this direction, but so far all of its attempts do not reach the level of the American Aegis destroyer.
The creation of such a ship in our time requires tremendous efforts of the military-industrial complex, the highest level of development of science and huge financial costs. The only ones who managed to fully implement this idea were the Americans. At the beginning of the US Navy's 90, they received a super-ship with 96 vertical launch systems Mk41 (the entire nomenclature of missiles adopted by the US Navy — SAM, PLUR, cruise missiles “Tomahawk”, anti-satellite missiles “3 Standard” - everything except ballistic missiles ).
Universal Mk41 control gears would not have that mystical effect without the Aegis combat information control system — AN / SPY-1 radar with four phased antenna arrays. Simultaneous tracking of thousands of air, surface and underwater targets within a radius of two hundred miles from the ship. Efficiency and speed of decision making. Special modes of operation of the radar. Data exchange in real time with other ships and aircraft. All ship electronics - detection, radio, satellite communications, weapons - all ship systems are connected into a single information circuit.
Yeah ... The destroyer "Burke" is good, although it is not without flaws: thin tin boards and disgustingly low survivability is the scourge of all modern ships. In addition, the "Berks" of the first modification were not at all universal - the priority of Aegis destroyer was always air defense. All other problems did not interest him.
Initially, the “Berks” did not even provide for the permanent basing of the helicopter. Anti-submarine defense was relegated to simpler ships - the same destroyers of the Spruence type.
In conclusion, I would like to note that these five subspecies of destroyers (from the destroyer of air defense to the strike destroyer and the destroyer-helicopter carrier) are by no means a complete list of the specializations of the destroyers.
For example, during the Second World War, there was a need for escort destroyers — specific ships for escort missions — hence the unusual requirements for their design and weapon composition.
In addition, there were destroyers, minelayers (type "Robert Smith"); destroyers of the radar patrol; destroyers converted into anti-submarine ships under the FRAM program ... The range of tasks of the destroyer destroyers is extremely wide and it is not surprising that specialized structures are created to solve an important problem.
The destroyer of the project 956 and the American destroyer of the type "Spryens"