The World’s Biggest Destroyers

DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class Destroyers

The DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class multi-mission destroyers, currently being built by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works for the US Navy, are the world’s biggest ever destroyers with a full load displacement of 15,656t. Construction of the Zumwalt-class began in February 2009 and the lead vessel in the class, USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), was launched in October 2013 and commissioned in October 2016.

Each Zumwalt-class destroyer has a length of 186m and width of 24.5m and can complement a crew of 158. The advanced surface combatants are equipped with stealth features and can conduct littoral operations, as well as anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions sailing at a speed of 30k.

The vessels are armed with an 80-cell vertical launch system (VLS), two 155mm advanced guns, and two 30mm close-in gun systems (CIGS). Critical technologies such as an all-electric integrated power system and a damage control system are also incorporated into the vessel. Aviation facilities aboard the vessels include a large flight deck and a hangar.

Type 055-class Destroyers

A full load displacement of approximately 13,000t makes the Type 055-class destroyers the largest and most capable surface combatants being constructed by Jiangnan Shipyard and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC) for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

The first ship in the class, Nanchang (101), made its public presence during the PLAN’s 70th-anniversary parade held in April 2019. Each Type 055 vessel features a stealth hull measuring 180m-long and 20m-wide. Its combined gas turbine and gas turbine (COGAG) propulsion ensures a maximum speed of 30k.

The Type 055 destroyer is armed with an H/PJ-38 130mm dual-purpose naval gun, an H/PJ-11 close-in weapon system, HHQ-9 surface-to-air missiles, YJ-18 anti-ship/land attack cruise missiles, CJ-10 land-attack missiles, and anti-submarine torpedoes.

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Atago-class Destroyers

A full load displacement of more than 10,000t and crew-carrying capacity of 300 marines makes the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF)-operated Atago-class guided missile destroyers one of the world’s biggest destroyers. The Atago-class is an advanced version of the Kongo-class and measures 165m-long.

The first destroyer in the-class, Atago (DDG-177), was commissioned in March 2007 and the second warship, Ashigara (DDG-178), entered service with the JMSDF in March 2008.

Weapon systems aboard the Atago-class constitute Aegis combat system, Mk-41 VLS, two 20mm cannons, Mark 45 Mod 4 127mm gun, anti-ship missiles, and Type 68 triple torpedo tubes. The destroyer features a landing spot and hangar for one helicopter. Its gas turbine propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 30k.

DDH-III Sejongdaewang/Sejong the Great-class (DDH-Aegis)

The Sejongdaewang (Sejong the Great)-class, also known as DDH-III, is a new class of three guided missile destroyers operated by the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN). The DDH-III-class warships are the biggest destroyers in the ROKN fleet and are the only Korean destroyers carrying the Aegis combat system. Each vessel has a full load displacement of 10,000t and complements more than 300 crew members.

The DDH-III destroyers were developed under Korean Destroyer eXperimental (KDX) programme for implementing bluewater operations. Three Sejong the Great destroyers built by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering were commissioned between 2008 and 2012.

The Sejong the Great-class destroyers carry an Mk-45 Mod 4 naval gun, Goalkeeper close-in weapon system (CIWS), anti-ship/anti-aircraft missiles, as well as anti-submarine rockets and torpedoes. The destroyers offer landing facilities for two helicopters and have a combined gas and gas turbine (COGAG) propulsion system ensuring a maximum speed of 30k.

Kee Lung-class Destroyers

Kee Lung-class (formerly KIDD-class) is a class of four destroyers in service with the Republic of China Navy (Taiwan Navy). The destroyers were delivered to the ROC Navy between 2005 and 2006, and are the second biggest warships belonging to the Taiwan Navy.

The Kee Lung-class has a standard displacement of 6,950t and full load displacement of 9,574t. Each ship can complement a crew of 363 marines and is equipped with modern combat capabilities and communications to serve as a task-force flagship.

The Kee Lung’s weaponry is mainly composed of two 127mm guns, two CIWS, two Mark 32 triple tubes, surface-to-air missiles, and long-range anti-ship missiles. The destroyers support operations of up to two helicopters and can attain a top speed of 33k.

Arleigh Burke-class (Flight IIA) Destroyers

DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is the first destroyer-class to field the Aegis Combat System. The first Arleigh Burke-class destroyer entered service with the US Navy in 1991.

The destroyer-class is built by Bath Iron Works and Huntington Ingalls Industries and currently encompasses 66 destroyers in three versions, namely Flight I (DDG 51-71), Flight II (DDG 72-78), and Flight IIA (DDG 79 and later ships). Construction of Flight III versions is currently underway. The Flight IIA ships have a full load displacement of 9,648.4t.

The latest versions of Arleigh Burke-class (Flight IIA) are armed with Standard Missile, vertically launched ASROC missiles, Tomahawk missiles, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs), MK-46 torpedoes, CIWS, and MK 45 gun. Four LM 2500-30 gas turbines driving two shafts allow the vessel to sail at a maximum speed of more than 30k.

Kongo-class Destroyers

The Kongo-class guided missile destroyers, with a 9,500t full load displacement, are comparable in size with cruisers. The warships are operated by the JMSDF and integrate a highly advanced Aegis combat system.

The lead destroyer in the-class, Kongo (DDG-173), was commissioned in March 1993 and the fourth and last ship, Chokai (DDG-176), was commissioned into service in March 1998.

The Kongo’s main weapon systems include vertical launch systems, anti-ship missiles, two 20mm cannons, 127mm rapid-fire cannon, and two triple-torpedo tubes. The destroyer is powered by a gas turbine propulsion system, providing a top speed of 30k.

Project 1155.1 Udaloy II-class Destroyer

Project 1155.1 Udaloy II is the biggest destroyer-class of the Russian Navy. The Udaloy II is an upgraded version of Udaloy I-class anti-submarine destroyers and has a full load displacement of 8,900t.

The Udaloy II-class integrates anti-ship missile system, Kinzhal self-defence surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, Kortic SAM, CIWS, anti-submarine torpedoes, and anti-submarine rocket launchers. The destroyer is equipped with a deck and hangar for two helicopters. The combined gas turbine and gas turbine (COGAG) fitted to the vessel enables a maximum cruise speed of 32k.

Yantar Shipyard (Kaliningrad) was initially contracted to build three Udaloy II vessels but only the lead ship, Admiral Chabanenko, was commissioned in January 1999. The other two destroyers were scrapped because of funding issues.

Type 45 / Daring-class

The Type 45, also known as Daring-class, is a new class of guided-missile destroyers built by BAE Systems Surface Ships for the UK Royal Navy. The Type 45 destroyers are the biggest and most advanced warships in the Royal Navy fleet.

The first Type 45 destroyer, HMS Daring (D32), was commissioned in July 2009 and the sixth and last vessel, HMS Duncan (D37), was inducted into service in September 2013. HMS Daring has a full load displacement of 8,500t and can carry a crew of 190.

The Type 45-class is armed with Sea Viper (PAAMS) air defence system, Sylver A50 vertical launching system (VLS), Aster missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Mark 8 naval gun, two Oerlikon 30mm guns, two Phalanx CIWS, and general purpose machine guns. The integrated electric propulsion (IEP) of the vessels provides a top speed of 27k.

Project 956 Sovremenny-class destroyers

Project 956 Sovremenny-class destroyers are one of the biggest destroyers in service with the Russian Navy. Severnaya Verf shipyard built a total of 21 Sovremenny ships, nine of which are in service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and Russian Navy.

The Sovremenny-class destroyer has a standard displacement of 6,500t while its full load displacement is 7,940t. The vessels are integrated with arms such as P-270 Moskit anti-ship cruise missiles, Shtil SAM, four 130mm guns, four AK-630 Gatling guns, two RBU-1000 ASW rocket launchers, and two twin 533mm torpedo tubes.

Sovremenny features a steam turbine propulsion system integrating GTZA-647 steam turbines, four boilers and two fixed pitch props, resulting in a top speed of 32k. The landing deck of the vessel accommodates a single helicopter.

Defence Technology