List of destroyer classes of the Royal Navy

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For further information on naming conventions, please see the article naming conventions for destroyers of the Royal Navy

This is a list of destroyer classes of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, organised chronologically by entry into service.

Torpedo boat destroyers[edit]

In 1913, the surviving members of the large heterogeneous array of older 27-knot and 30-knot torpedo boat destroyer types (all six of the original 26-knot ships had been disposed of by the end of 1912) were organised into the A, B, C and D classes according to their design speed and the number of funnels they possessed. All were of a "turtle-back" design and, excepting a few "builder's specials", powered by reciprocating engines. It should be stressed that these A to D class designations did not exist before 1913, and only applied to those "turtle-backed" destroyers surviving to that time.

  • D class; (2-funnelled, 30-knot classes) Unlike the A, B and C classes, the D class comprised a series of similar ships built by one contractor (Thornycroft), although there were small variations between the batches ordered in each year.
    • 1893-94 Programme — 4 ships, 1896
    • 1894-95 Programme — 2 ships, 1897
    • 1895-96 Programme — 3 ships, 1897–1898
    • 1896-97 Programme (special type) — 1 ship, 1899
  • Taku type — 1 ship, 1900, ex-Chinese prize

Conventional destroyers[edit]

In 1913, lettered names were given to all Royal Navy destroyers, previously known after the first ship of that class. The River or E class of 1913 were the first destroyers of the Royal Navy with a high forecastles instead of "turtleback" bow making this the first class with a more recognizable modern configuration.

Inter-war standard classes
World War II War Emergency Programme classes

Guided-missile destroyers[edit]

  • County class — 8 ships (4 Batch I, 4 Batch II), 1961–1967
  • Type 82 — 1 ship, 1969
  • Type 42 — 14 ships (6 Sheffield, 4 Exeter, 4 Manchester), 1971–1983
  • Type 45 — 6 ships, all commissioned between 2009–2013

See also[edit]