In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable, long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet , convoy or battle group and defend them against powerful short range attackers. They were originally developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy   as a defense against torpedo boats , and by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in , these "torpedo boat destroyers" TBDs were "large, swift, and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Before World War II , destroyers were light vessels with little endurance for unattended ocean operations; typically a number of destroyers and a single destroyer tender operated together. After the war, the advent of the guided missile allowed destroyers to take on the surface combatant roles previously filled by battleships and cruisers. This resulted in larger and more powerful guided missile destroyers more capable of independent operation. At the start of the 21st century, destroyers are the global standard for surface combatant ships, with only two nations United States and Russia officially operating the heavier class cruisers , with no battleships or true battlecruisers remaining.
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Destroyer , fast naval vessel that has served a variety of functions since the late 19th century, mainly in defense of surface fleets and convoys. The term destroyer was first used for the ton vessels built in the s to protect battleships from torpedo boats. These torpedo-boat destroyers, as they were called, then became super torpedo boats themselves, so that by World War I they were commonly deployed ahead of the battle fleet to scout for the enemy fleet, beat back its destroyers with cannon fire, and then launch torpedoes against its battleships and cruisers. As the submarine became the principal torpedo-launching vessel, destroyers were equipped with hydrophones and depth charges to protect merchant-ship convoys and battle fleets against submarine attack. In World War II , with the addition of radar and antiaircraft guns, this escort role was expanded to include air defense. At the same time, destroyers also used their torpedoes and guns against other surface ships, notably in the pitched naval battles between U. Many destroyers carry submarine-hunting helicopters, and some U.
We use them to give you the best experience. If you continue using our website, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website. Sign up here for GlobalData's free bi-weekly Covid report on the latest information your industry needs to know. Both are designed for quick manoeuvrability and can be used to escort and protect larger vessels from air, surface and underwater threats. The similarities between frigates and destroyers have led to some European navies using the terms interchangeably. On the other hand, frigates are more common, with almost every navy in the world in possession of a frigate as part of its navy fleet, while only 13 nations possess destroyers, according to the Global Fire Power Index Frigate vs destroyer — what are some of the key differences? Almost every navy has a frigate Of the 55 nations that own frigate ships, China leads the world with 52 frigates across three different classes, followed — perhaps surprisingly — by Taiwan, which has 24, and the US with 22 vessels. Destroyers are much less common, with only a handful of navies possessing these kind of warships. The US Navy owns the most destroyers with 68 currently in service.