Alternative Cold War History 1994

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Royal Navy Destroyers

By 1994 the RN had streamlined its Destroyer fleet to just two types; a singleton Type 82 Bristol class, and 12 Type 42 Sheffield class in three different batches. The main purpose of British Destroyers is to provide Area Air Defense (AAD) but the Type 42 also has Exocet anti-ship (ASM) missiles for surface action and helicopter facilities to enhance its capability in the Anti-Submarine Role (ASW) role.

HMS Bristol – Type 82: The Type 82 proved to be too large, expensive and limited in capability for the government of the day, so the class was terminated after only one ship, HMS Bristol (D-23). She proved to be a good AAD ship with her Sea Dart Surface to Air missiles (SAM) but was 50% larger with almost twice as many crew for the more well rounded Type 42s. She is stationed in home waters with the task of AD escort for HMS Invincible (R-05).

Class Pennant Ship Status Location Task Remarks
Type 82 D23 Bristol Active Atlantic Escort R05

Type 42: Although this is a versatile design with a wide range of capabilities, its debut in combat was inauspicious.  Seven ships of this class deployed to the Falklands in 1982, two were sunk – HMS Sheffield and HMS Coventry, while HMS Glasgow was disabled by a bomb which did not explode but knocked out her engines.   As a result, the Batch 3 ships are larger and displace 20% more than the other two Batches, they have better sea keeping, a larger Sea Dart Magazine, better countermeasures, and many other improvements.  All ships were refitted with an improved radar in the late 1980’s. All three batches carry a single Lynx ASW helicopter, 4x Exocet ASM, a 4.5-inch gun, two Phalanx Close in Weapons System (CIWS) among other systems. HMS Gloucester became the first ship in history to shoot down an ASM (an Iraqi Silkworm) while protecting the US Battleship USS Missouri during the Persian Gulf war.

Class Pennant Ship Status Location Task Remarks
Type 42 B1 D80 Sheffield Sunk
D86 Birmingham Active Atlantic Independent
D87 Newcastle Active Atlantic Independent
D118 Coventry Sunk
D88 Glasgow Active Mediterranean Escort R06
D108 Cardiff Active Indian Escort R07
Type 42 B2 D89 Exeter Active Atlantic Escort R05
D90 Southampton Active Mediterranean Independent
D92 Liverpool Active S Atlantic Falklands
D91 Nottingham Active Indian Independent
Type 42 B3 D95 Manchester Active Atlantic Tied up Minor refit
D98 York Active Indian Escort R07
D96 Gloucester Active Atlantic Escort R05
D97 Edinburgh Active Mediterranean Escort R06