Boadicea Class Destroyers
BNC-BclassDDsmall.jpg
(Note: drawing contains some parts taken from Shipbucket.com)

Ship Characteristics

Dimensions Length 362.5 ft
Beam 37.75 ft
Draft 16.23 feet
Displacement 1,700 tons
Performance Speed (max) 32 knots
Speed (cruising) 20 knots
Endurance 4,000 nm @ 20 knots
Armament Guns 1 4 inch L62 Mark XXIV, 2 40mm
ASW 2 Limbo

Background

The Boadicea class destroyers bore a very close external resemblance to the Acorn class having been designed along much the same lines. However, the immediately notable differences was the use of a new 4 inch L62 single mount gun aft. This was the Mark XXIV produced by Vickers and was capable of firing 50 rounds per minute. Thus, in terms of number of shells delivered it more than doubled the firepower of the old Mark XIX. It threw a 32 pound projectile to a range of 20,000 yards.

The other obvious difference between the Boadicea class and the Acorns was that the new ships replaced the separate lattice mast and raked funnel with a plated-in tower mast that was faired into a new, vertical funnel. The logic behind the new mast was that it was more blast-resistant than a lattice while it also provided protected access to the electronics carried on it. This was regarded as essential since the new ships had a much-improved electronics fit compared with the old vessels. This included a new radar fire control system that allowed blind-fire capability.

The new funnel was associated with the introduction of a new machinery plant that replaced the essentially pre-war steam plant used on the Acorns. Designed by Yarrow, the new plant put out 30,000 shaft horsepower as opposed to the 48,000 shp on the Acorns. As a result, speed fell from 36 knots to 32 but fuel economy was much improved, increasing operational range to 4,000 nautical miles at 20 knots.

The first pair of Boadicea class destroyers was ordered in the 1954 building program with two more following in 1955, three in 1956 and a last ship being ordered in 1957. With the Acorns undertaking mostly training roles, the Boadicea class were the first really operational new ships in the Royal Navy and were worked hard as a result. They were modernized in the early 1970s but by 1982 they were showing their age and were due for decommissioning. However, the Falklands War gave them an added lease of life and the last of the class was only decommissioned in 1986.

Class Members

Name Ordered Laid Down Launched Commissioned Fate
Boadicea 1954 1954 1956 1958
Basilisk 1954 1955 1957 1958
Brazen 1955 1955 1957 1958
Bulldog 1955 1955 1958 1958
Battleaxe 1956 1956 1958 1959
Broadsword 1956 1956 1958 1959
Brilliant 1956 1956 1959 1960
Beagle 1957 1957 1960 1961
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