Type 82 destroyer

The Type 82 or Bristol-class destroyer was to have been a class of eight Royal Navy warships intended as area air-defence destroyers to replace the County-class destroyers, and to serve as escorts to the planned CVA-01 aircraft carriers. Eventually only a single ship, HMS Bristol was built and served as a testbed for much of the modern technology and armaments seen in later classes of Royal Navy warships. Sometimes described as a "light cruiser",[3] she was officially classified as a destroyer.

HMS Bristol D23
Class overview
Name: Type 82 Destroyer
Builders: Swan Hunter
Royal Navy Jack
Royal Navy
Preceded by: County class
Succeeded by: Type 42
In commission: Since 31 March 1973
Planned: 8
Completed: 1
Cancelled: 7
Active: 1 (as a cadet training ship)
Preserved: 1
General characteristics
Displacement: 6,400 tonnes (standard), 7,100 tonnes (full)[1]
Length: 154.53 metres (507 ft)
Beam: 16.76 metres (55 ft)
Draught: 7.5 metres (25 ft)
  • COSAG, 2 standard range geared steam turbines 30,000 hp
  • 2 Bristol Siddeley Olympus TM1A gas turbines 30,000 hp, 2 shafts, 2 boilers
Speed: 28 kt (52 km/h)
Range: 5,750 nautical miles (10,650 km; 6,620 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: 397 (30 officers)
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • 4.5-inch (114 mm) Vickers Mk.8 gun
  • GWS 30 Sea Dart SAM Launcher (38 rounds + 10 additional warheads)[2]
  • Ikara A/S Launcher (at least 24 rounds)[2] (until 1984)
  • Mark 10 Limbo A/S Mortar (until 1979)
  • 2 × twin Oerlikon / BMARC GCM-A03 30 mm guns (from 1983)
  • 2 × Oerlikon / BMARC GAM-B01 20 mm guns (from 1983)
  • 2 × Oerlikon 20 mm guns (from 1979)
Aviation facilities: Flight deck


The CVA-01 aircraft carrier project was cancelled in the 1966 Defence White Paper, eliminating the requirement for the Type 82 class. Nevertheless, one hull of the original four was ordered on 4 October 1966 for use as a testbed for new technologies. HMS Bristol was laid down in 1967, featuring four new systems:

The latter feature, although not externally apparent, was perhaps the most pioneering of the design; a leap forward from the rudimentary action information system of the "Counties" and its heavy reliance on manual data input.

The Type 82 was followed into service by the smaller Type 42 destroyer that featured the same Sea Dart missile, 114 mm Mark 8 gun and integrated ADAWS. It was not a direct replacement for the Type 82 per se, but filled the area air defence role in a Cold War, North Atlantic navy. The Type 42 design was however smaller and had a lower manpower requirement and as such many more hulls could be brought into service than a design of the Type 82's size. It also featured a flightdeck and hangar for its own air component providing improved anti-submarine, surface-strike and general utility to the design.


The Type 82 was loosely based on the layout of the County-class destroyer and the Type 12 Leander-class frigate (hence the inclusion in the escort Type numbering system.)

The vessel was powered by a combined steam and gas (COSAG) plant, and was the last warship designed for the Royal Navy to be powered by steam. The steam plant vented through the large fore funnel while the gas plant exhausted though a side-by-side pair of after funnels (on either side of the extensive air intakes and filters for the gas turbines), giving rise to a unique three-funnelled layout.

Weapon systems

The new Sea Dart missile was fired from a twin-arm launcher on the quarterdeck and there was a pair of radar Type 909 target illumination sets, an improvement over the single radar Type 901 set of the County-class design.

The single Mark 8 114 mm gun was not intended as an anti-aircraft weapon, and as such had an elevation of only 55°. The weapon was designed specifically for reliability over rate of fire, allowing only a single mounting to be shipped, and the comparatively low rate of fire of 25 rounds per minute was more than suitable for the intended anti-ship and shore-bombardment roles.

The third weapon system was the Australian Ikara anti-submarine weapon; a rocket-powered aircraft capable of carrying a Mk.44 homing torpedo or nuclear depth bomb out to 10 miles from the ship. The Ikara primary anti-submarine weapon was backed up by a Mark 10 Limbo anti-submarine mortar. Although capable of landing a Westland Wasp helicopter on the quarterdeck the ship lacked a hangar and aviation facilities and thus had to rely on external air support.


The original design called for a long-range 3-D air search radar to be fitted; the joint Anglo-Dutch Type 988 "Broomstick", and early drawings and artist's impression show a large dome on the bridge to carry this set. A similar set was to be fitted to the CVA-01 design. However, the RN dropped out of the program due to high cost, and instead she was fitted with the ageing Type 965 air search radar, with a "twin bedstead" AKE-2 antennae, on a stump foremast. Radar Type 992Q low-angle search was carried on the tall, slender mainmast and as such the electronics fit had not advanced significantly from the County class. Type 909 sets were shipped fore and aft for Sea Dart fire control, allowing two targets to be engaged at any one time.

The main advance in the design was with how the sensor data was processed and displayed. The ADAWS-2 system, based on two Ferranti FM1600 computers, integrated the identification, tracking and engagement of targets into a single system. ADAWS-2 could accept input from any of the ship's radars or sonars, identify targets and produce continuous track histories. Using this information it could evaluate threat levels and control the engagement of targets using the relevant weapons systems. The whole process occurred almost automatically, requiring only oversight and command from the human operator. This new generation of warship would be commanded from an operations room within the ship rather than the traditional location of the bridge.


  • Electronics:
    • ADAWS-2 combat direction system
    • 1 x radar Type 965 2D air warning, later;
    • 1 x radar Type 1022 2D air search
    • 1 x radar Type 992Q low-angle target indication
    • 2 x radar Type 909 Sea Dart target illumination
    • 1 x radar Type 978 (later 1006) navigation
    • 1 x sonar Type 170 search
    • 1 x sonar Type 184 target indication


Despite introducing various new systems, the role for which Bristol was designed never materialised. She faced the problem of entering a navy that had no operational role or requirement for her and that was faced with rapidly changing priorities. This single, large ship was manpower- and maintenance-intensive and was not fitted out to the standard required for front line deployment.

The major shortcomings in the design were twofold: the lack of an air component and the lack of a long-range anti-ship weapon. Within a few years these features would be standard on ships of this size and type. These deficiencies limited her to squadron (rather than individual patrol) duties, and Bristol is usually seen as something of a white elephant.


The role which the Type 82 was built for never materialised and as such she spent most of her service in the 1970s trialling and building up experience using the new weapons and computer systems. A major boiler fire in 1974 destroyed the steam plant. Older ships may have been crippled by this, but Bristol was able to operate for three years using only her turbine plant, demonstrating the flexibility and utility of the latter. The steam plant was repaired in 1976 and it was not until 1979 that she was fitted out for frontline service with ECM, Corvus countermeasures launchers and a pair of World War II-era Oerlikon 20 mm cannons. During this refit the Limbo weapon was removed; the well subsequently saw service as a makeshift swimming pool.

Thanks to her size, Bristol was suitable for use as a flagship as she could embark the extra staff members necessary for this role. As such, she served as the Royal Navy flagship during Exercise Ocean Safari 81. After a short refit, during which the mortar well was plated over to allow the landing of large helicopters on the quarterdeck, she joined the Royal Navy task force in the South Atlantic in the 1982 Falklands War as a component of the carrier battle-group. After the conflict she remained ‘’in situ’’ as flagship of the remaining Royal Navy forces. On return to the UK she entered a refit and, in light of the lessons of the conflict, she had her light anti aircraft weapons augmented with a pair of twin Oerlikon / BMARC 30 mm GCM-A03 and a pair of single Oerlikon / BMARC 20 mm GAM-B01 guns. Loral-Hycor SRBOC countermeasures launchers were also added to augment the elderly Corvus launchers.

With the Royal Navy short on hulls after damages and losses incurred in the Falklands, Bristol remained in commission and made several overseas deployments until paid off for refit in 1984. Another boiler explosion when entering refit caused extensive damage and had to be repaired. The major work undertaken in the refit was to replace the obsolete radar Type 965 with the new radar Type 1022 for long range air search duties. In addition, the Ikara system was removed and it was intended that it be replaced with two triple STWS-1 launchers for 324 mm anti-submarine torpedoes, although these were never fitted.

In 1987 she became part of Dartmouth training squadron, for which duties she had extra accommodation and classrooms added in the former Ikara and Limbo spaces. Finally she was withdrawn from service on 14 June 1991 and configured for her current role in 1993 as a replacement for HMS Kent as a static training ship at HMS Excellent, a shore facility in Portsmouth.

Revival of the large air defence escort

In 1999, the eventual replacement for the Type 42 was announced. Unlike in the 1970s, when economics dictated a large number of smaller hulls, the Type 45 destroyer is even bigger than the Type 82, but was limited to a build total of six units, which will be primarily be charged with escorting the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers. In this way, the Type 45 can be seen as the true modern descendant of the Type 82.

Construction programme

Pennant Name (a) Hull builder
(b) Main machinery manufacturers
Laid down Launched Accepted into service Commissioned Estimated building cost[5] Fate
D23 Bristol (a) Swan Hunter & Tyne Shipbuilders Ltd
(b) General Electrical Co Ltd (turbines and gearing)
(b) Rolls Royce (1971) Ltd (gas turbines)[6]
15 November 1967 30 June 1969 15 December 1972 [6] 31 March 1973 £24,217,000 [6] Permanently moored as training ship, at HMS Excellent


  1. ^ "Type 82 General Purpose Destroyer". HMS Bristol - Type 82 Destroyer. 20 April 2006. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b Friedman, Norman (2008). British Destroyers and Frigates, the Second World War and After. Barnsley: Seaforth. pp. 263, 320. ISBN 978-1-84832-015-4.
  3. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships, 1980–81. London, UK: Jane's Publishing Company. p. 556. ISBN 978-0-71060-703-4.
  4. ^ A history of autonated AIO's (PDF) (Report). HMS Collingwood's Historic Collection. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Unit cost, i.e. excluding cost of certain items (e.g. aircraft, First Outfits)". Defence Estimates, 1973–74 (Report). Ministry of Defence.
  6. ^ a b c "Table V: List and particulars of new ships which have been accepted or are expected to be accepted into HM service during the Financial Year ended 31st March 1973". Defence Estimates, 1973–74 (Report). Ministry of Defence. p. XII-96.


1966 Defence White Paper

The 1966 Defence White Paper (Command Papers 2592 and 2901) was a major review of the United Kingdom's defence policy initiated by the Labour government under Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The review was led by the Secretary of State for Defence, Denis Healey. The document was centred on the need to support NATO in Europe and made the commitment that the UK, "would not undertake major operations of war except in co-operation with allies." The 1966 announcements undertook to retain the UK presence in Singapore and Malaysia.

However, the mid-late sixties brought an economic crisis and the devaluation of pound sterling. In 1967 and 1968 the government published two further supplements to the review, announcing the strategic withdrawal of British forces deployed East of Suez. This marked a watershed in British foreign policy and the end of a major, enduring world-wide military role.

4.5-inch Mark 8 naval gun

The 4.5 inch Mark 8 is a British naval gun system which currently equips the Royal Navy's destroyers and frigates, and some British destroyers and frigates sold to other countries.


BMARC (British Manufacture and Research Company) was a UK-based firm designing and producing defence products, particularly aircraft cannon and naval anti-aircraft cannon. It was based on a 60-acre (24 ha) site on Springfield Road (part of the A607) in Grantham, Lincolnshire.

British naval forces in the Falklands War

This is a list of the naval forces from the United Kingdom that took part in the Falklands War. For a list of naval forces from Argentina, see Argentine naval forces in the Falklands War.


D23 may refer to :

Almirante Valdés (D23), a 1959 Spanish Fletcher-class destroyer

ARA Almirante Domecq Garcia (D23), a 1971 Argentine Navy Fletcher class destroyer

Dewoitine D.23, a French Dewoitine aircraft

HMS Bristol (D23), a 1969 British Royal Navy Type 82 destroyer

HMS Premier (D23), a 1943 British Royal Navy escort aircraft carrier

PRR D23, an American PRR 4-4-0 type steam locomotive

D23 (Disney), the official fan club of The Walt Disney Company

Almirante Brión (D23), a Venezuelan Navy Almirante Clemente class destroyer

D23 road (Croatia), a state road

Guided missile destroyer

A guided-missile destroyer is a destroyer designed to launch guided missiles. Many are also equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface operations. The NATO standard designation for these vessels is DDG. Nations vary in their use of destroyer D designation in their hull pennant numbering, either prefixing or dropping it altogether. The U.S. Navy has adopted the classification DDG in the American hull classification system.

In addition to the guns, a guided-missile destroyer is usually equipped with two large missile magazines, usually in vertical-launch cells. Some guided-missile destroyers contain powerful radar systems, such as the United States’ Aegis Combat System, and may be adopted for use in an anti-missile or ballistic-missile defense role. This is especially true of navies that no longer operate cruisers, so other vessels must be adopted to fill in the gap.

HMS Bristol

Seven ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Bristol, after the English port city of Bristol:

HMS Bristol (1653) was a 48-gun ship launched in 1653, completely rebuilt in 1693, captured by the French in April 1709, recaptured two weeks later and sunk.

HMS Bristol (1711) was a 54-gun fourth rate launched in 1711. She underwent a rebuild in 1746 which rearmed her with 50 guns, and was broken up in 1768.

HMS Bristol (1775) was a 50-gun fourth rate launched in 1775. She served in the American War of Independence, was used as a prison ship after 1794, and was broken up in 1810.

Bristol was originally the 64-gun third rate HMS Agincourt. She was renamed HMS Bristol when she became a prison ship in 1812. She was sold in 1814 for immediate breaking up.

HMS Bristol (1861) was a wooden screw frigate launched in 1861 and broken up in 1883.

HMS Bristol (1910) was a Town-class light cruiser launched in 1910. She was the name ship of the Bristol subgroup and was sold in 1921.

HMS Bristol 1939 was a training establishment ('stone frigate') set up in House 4 of Muller's Orphanage in Bristol. http://www.childrenshomes.org.uk/Muller/

HMS Bristol (D23) was a unique Type 82 destroyer launched in 1973 and now permanently moored at HMS Excellent, Portsmouth as a training ship.

HMS Bristol (D23)

HMS Bristol (D23) is a Type 82 destroyer, the only vessel of her class to be built for the Royal Navy. Originally intended as the first of a class of large destroyers to escort the CVA-01 aircraft carriers projected to come into service in the early 1970s, Bristol turned out to be a unique ship: the rest of the class were cancelled with the CVA-01 carriers in the 1966 Strategic Defence Review. Following a long career which included the Falklands War, she was converted into a training ship in 1987 and continues to serve in that role. HMS Bristol is named after the English city of Bristol.

HMS Exmouth (F84)

HMS Exmouth was a Royal Navy anti-submarine warfare frigate of the Blackwood or Type 14 class.

List of Royal Navy vessels active in 1981

The following vessels were in commission, planned or under construction for Her Majesty's Royal Navy in 1981

List of Royal Navy vessels active in 1982

The following vessels were in commission, planned or under construction for Her Majesty's Royal Navy in 1982. Many of these vessels took part in the 1982 Falklands War.

List of ship launches in 1969

The list of ship launches in 1969 includes a chronological list of ships launched in 1969. In cases where no official launching ceremony was held, the date built or completed may be used instead.

Rolls-Royce Marine Olympus

The Rolls-Royce Marine Olympus is a marine gas turbine based on the Rolls-Royce Olympus aircraft turbojet engine.

Sea Dart

Sea Dart or GWS30 was a British surface-to-air missile system designed by Hawker Siddeley Dynamics in the 1960s, entering service in 1973. It was fitted to the Type 42 destroyers (United Kingdom and Argentina), Type 82 destroyer and Invincible-class aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy.

The missile system had eight confirmed successful engagements in combat, including six aircraft, a helicopter and an anti-ship missile. An additional helicopter was shot down in a 'friendly fire' incident during the Falklands War.

Originally Hawker Siddeley, the missile was built by British Aerospace after 1977, and was withdrawn from service in 2012.

Suffren-class frigate

The Suffren class anti-air frigates were first-rank destroyers of the French Navy, designed to protect a fleet against air threats, surface ships, submarines, and, to a lesser extent, provide firepower against land objectives. They were the first French ships to be built specifically as guided missile frigates.

Swan Hunter

Swan Hunter, formerly known as Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson, is a shipbuilding design, engineering, and management company, based in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, England.

At its apex, the company represented the combined forces of three powerful shipbuilding families: Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson.

The company was responsible for some of the greatest ships of the early 20th century, most famously RMS Mauretania which held the Blue Riband for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic, and RMS Carpathia which rescued survivors from RMS Titanic.

In 2006 Swan Hunter ceased vessel construction on Tyneside, but continues to provide design engineering services.

Type 1022 Radar

The Type 1022 Radar was an L-Band, long range, surveillance radar used by the Royal Navy. It is described as a STIR, Surveillance, and Target Identification Radar.

Type 42 destroyer

The Type 42 or Sheffield class, was a class of fourteen light guided missile destroyers that served in the Royal Navy. A further two ships of this class were built for and served with the Argentine Navy.

The first ship of the class was ordered in 1968 and launched in 1971. Two of the class (Sheffield and Coventry) were sunk in action during the Falklands War 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 and just one remains in the Argentine Navy. The Royal Navy has replaced them with Type 45 destroyers.

Type 82

Type 82 may refer to the following:

Type 82 artillery, a Chinese multiple rocket launcher

Type 82 destroyer, a British warship.

Type 82, a Chinese-made version of the Polish PM-63 submachine gun.

Type 82 Volkswagen Kübelwagen, a German military vehicle.

GSL 131 a.k.a. Type 82, a Chinese mine-clearing armoured bulldozer

Type 82 (vehicle), a Japanese 6×6 command and communications vehicle

Type 82 destroyer


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