Destroyers are fast and manueverable vessels. They have medium-size weaponry and can be used very effectively. Destroyers do not have the armor of a battleship or the speed of a frigate. However, they often have more firepower and armor than a frigate and are faster than ironclads and battleships.

[WPF] PLAN Luhu DDG is an example of a destroyer built using no MOD.

IMG 0773

Arleigh Burke destroyer, a typical design


Many of these ships are armed with low-weight, low-space, high-firepower and high-precision weapons, such as Mk 45 5 inch Guns and Vulcan Cannons. Torpedoes are often included as the means to destroy heavier warships. More conventional naval artillery such as the 30.5cm Gun family are equipped to improve chances against medium-sized warships. AAA and ASW are frequent additions to improve lethality against aircraft and submarines, respectively. 

Roles and Usage

A common use for them is antisubmarine warfare. Speedy enough to dodge torpedoes, they can then deliver the lethal depth charge attack or hedgehog strike against the hapless submarine. Torpedo delivery and minelaying are tasks often considered for destroyers, and are the biggest surface combatants who could deploy these weapons effectively. Destroyers are also used as anti-frigate and anti-fast boat warships, a role which they excel in. Indeed, this was the type's original role.

Phantom-Class Destroyer

The Phantom-Class Stealth Destroyer; a less conventional design but nevertheless an example of an effective destroyer.


See Battle Tactics

Take note of the opponent. If the ship is faster and more maneuverable than you, attempt to use your firepower to destroy the opponent. Use area denial weapons to force them where you want them. If the ship has more firepower but less maneuverability, use area denial weapons such as torpedoes and mines to restrict it even further and circle the helpless opponent. If possible, use long-distance weapons to disable or if possible, destroy the opponent.  

The Future

The future seems bright for these ships. When armed with new helicopters, they will provide valuable ASW coverage against submarines while providing a reasonable antiship warfare package with VLS Tomahawks. While torpedo delivery and minelaying will be roles it will continue to pursue, these will be secondary. These ships will become paramount antisubmarine, and general combat warships, given the economy of a fast boat and the firepower of a battleship. Overall, these will be more prominent than before. 


  • The first destroyer was the Japanese Navy large torpedo boat Kotaka, launched in 1885. However, the first warship built to the specifically like a destroyer was the Spanish Navy's Destructor.
  • The first destroyer classes were the Daring and Havoc classes, launched by the British Navy.
  • The name destroyer was short for torpedo boat destroyer, and it was it's original purpose.
  • Destroyers are often the heaviest surface combatants in many navies.