The Beograd-class were developed from the French Simoun-class destroyers, and the second of class Ljubljana was built by Jadranska brodogradilišta at Split, Yugoslavia, under French supervision. The ship had an overall length of 98 m (322 ft), a beam of 9.45 m (31.0 ft), and a normal draught of 3.18 m (10.4 ft). According to Roger Chesneau, her standard displacement was 1,210 long tons (1,230 t) and she displaced 1,655 long tons (1,682 t) fully loaded, but Maurizio Brescia lists her full load displacement at 1,800 long tons (1,800 t). The crew consisted of 145 officers and enlisted men. The ship was powered by Parsons (Beograd Curtis) steam turbines driving two propellors, using steam generated by three Yarrowwater-tube boilers. The turbines were rated at 40,000 shp (30,000 kW) and she was designed to reach a top speed of 38 knots (70 km/h).
On 24 January 1940, Ljubljana ran into a reef off the Yugoslav port of Šibenik. The hull side was breached and despite efforts to get the ship into the port, it sank close to shore, and some of the crew swam to safety. All but one of the crew survived, but the captain was arrested pending an investigation. In April 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers, and Ljubljana was captured by the Royal Italian Navy (Italian: Regia Marina) on 17 April, while undergoing major repairs at Šibenik. She was towed to Boka Kotorska then Trieste for refitting and repair, and 20 mm (0.79 in)/65 Breda Model 35 guns were added to her armament. She was commissioned under the name Lubiana in October, or November 1942. Sources vary regarding her fate. According to Roger Chesneau, she was sunk off the Tunisian coast by the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1943, but Maurizio Brescia states she was stranded off Cap Bon on the Tunisian coast on 1 April 1943 and declared a total constructive loss.