The Battle-class, HMS Armada (D14), 1943 is a rank III British destroyer with a battle rating of 4.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.83 "Masters of the Sea" as part of the British fleet closed beta test.
HMS Armada is a Battle-class destroyer. Built near the end of the war, she diverges radically from earlier British destroyers such as the Tribals (e.g. HMS Eskimo) or the N-class (e.g. HMS Nepal) by the very strong emphasis on anti-aircraft capability, reflected in the dual-purpose main gun turrets located in the bow of the ship and large complement of 40 mm Bofors guns.
Survivability and armour
Like most destroyers, the Armada does not have comprehensive armour plating or an armoured belt, only some plating over critical locations. It has 6.35 mm hardened armour plating covering the sides of the main and secondary ammunition magazines in the bow and the stern. This, combined with the 16 mm steel hull, is sufficient to protect against autocannon and machine gun fire except at very close ranges, as well as most destroyer HE shells, but will not stop destroyer SAP shells or anything bigger. There is also 15 mm of anti-fragmentation armour on the deck above the magazines, which will stop destroyer HE shells, but nothing more.
The main gun turrets are protected by 12.7 mm of anti-fragmentation armour, which is insufficient against destroyer HE shells or larger. Their barbettes for the bow gun turrets are protected by 9.53 mm of armour. It should be noted that the 'P' main gun turret behind the funnel is an open mounting, and it is thus more vulnerable to getting disabled. The 40 mm Bofors turret between the torpedo tubes has 12.7 mm anti-fragmentation armour towards the front, but only 6.35 mm around the sides. The other Bofors guns inturrets, as well as the torpedo tubes, are unarmoured.
The only other protected locations are the bridge (9.53 mm) and the rangefinder (6.35 mm).
Notably, the boiler room, funnel, and propeller shafts are completely unarmoured other than by the hull plating, thus they are quite vulnerable to large-calibre shells. In particular, the Armada has only one funnel, so having it destroyed will completely cripple the ship's mobility.
The Armada has a crew of 260, which gives it relatively decent survivability for a destroyer, though it is inferior in that respect to the large German destroyers (most of which have crews of around 320) and some American ones (such as the USS Allen M. Sumner).
It is also important to note that Armada's ammunition magazines are somewhat exposed above the waterline, so she is vulnerable to ammunition rack damage and explosions. It is not possible to have the magazines under the waterline unless bringing an unacceptably low amount of ammunition.
The Armada is currently the fastest British bluewater ship in the game. Few destroyers will be able to outrun her in a straight line (namely, Moskva, Leningrad, Tashkent, Spokoinyy, and Shimakaze). She accelerates well and has a relatively tight turning radius.
|Game Mode||Upgrade Status||Maximum Speed (km/h)|
Modifications and economy
The Armada is armed with five QF 4.5-inch Mark IV guns, four of which are concentrated in two dual-gun bow turrets, with the fifth gun in an open-backed turret mounting behind the funnel amidships. All of these mountings can traverse through a full 360°, allowing the Armada to keep its guns bearing on a target regardless of the ship's manoeuvres.
The two bow turrets are true dual-purpose mountings, capable of elevating up to 80°. Combined with the HE-VT (proximity fuse) shells, they are very deadly against aircraft. They are capable of firing at 20 rounds/minute. Although ships like the American destroyers and the Japanese Akizuki can fire faster than the Armada, the former two can only do so as long as their first order racks are not empty; once empty, their rate-of-fire drops to 15 rounds/minute. The Armada does not have a first order rack, and it can sustain its rate-of-fire as long as it has ammunition.
Because of the limited field-of-fire available to the amidships single-gun turret, it is usually better to rely on only the two bow turrets for most engagements. Attempting to use the other turret requires exposing a lot of broadside, which usually results in more damage taken. The amidships turret also has a lower rate-of-fire of only 15 rounds/minute, and its elevation is limited to 55°, thus it is not as useful against aircraft.
The Armada has access to HE, HE-TF, SAP, and HE-VT rounds. Once HE-VT has been unlocked, there is no point in using HE or HE-TF, as the HE-VT acts identically to regular HE against surface targets, and is also far, far superior against aircraft compared to HE-TF. Despite the smaller calibre, the 4.5-inch gun's SAP actually has slightly more penetration than the older QF 4.7-inch gun's SAP at all ranges up to 15 km thanks to its superior ballistics. The smaller calibre comes at the cost of explosive filler, though the higher rate-of-fire of the 4.5-inch gun more or less compensates for that.
The main guns also have fairly noticeable dispersion and shell travel times at longer ranges, hence they are quite hard to hit with consistently at ranges beyond 5 km, especially if trying to aim for specific modules or against smaller craft.
The Armada's secondary armament consists solely of 40 mm Bofors guns. Four of these are in the stern on twinmountings, with another twin mounting in between the two quintuple torpedo tube mounts. There are a further two single Bofors mountings, one on each side of the bridge, making for a total of eight 40 mm Bofors guns. These guns are highly effective against low/medium altitude aircraft, and are also deadly against enemy coastal fast attack boats when manually aimed.
The stern Bofors turrets can traverse through 360°, although their ability to engage aircraft dead ahead of the Armada is limited due to the ship's superstructure blocking the way. Thus, it is best to present the stern of the ship towards aircraft, whenever possible, if relying on the Bofors guns for anti-aircraft defence.
The Armada has two quintuple 21-inch torpedo tube mountings located amidships, allowing for a respectable torpedo salvo. Like all British destroyers, however, these mountings have very restricted fields-of-fire, requiring the target to be almost directly abeam of the ship. They also traverse quite slowly and are thus quite risky to use, unless the torpedoes are being fired while out of combat or against unaware opponents.
The 21-inch Mark IX torpedo itself is a rather respectable weapon, with a good range of 9.6 km and a large explosive warhead of 340 kg. It is considerably slower than the American 21-inch Mark 15 and German G7a torpedo, though it has almost double the range and a much larger warhead than the American weapon. This range can be extended further by installing the torpedo mode modification, if necessary.
Usage in battles
HMS Armada is a fast destroyer with decent durability and relatively powerful bow-mounted main armament. While the 4.5-inch guns' shells are individually weaker than that of other destroyers, the sustained rate of fire is very good and somewhat compensates for this. The Armada also has excellent secondary armament in the form of its multiple Bofors 40 mm guns, making it a dangerous target for aircraft or fast attack boats.
The Armada excels at helping contesting capture zones, as she is an extremely deadly opponent for coastal craft, and her anti-aircraft capabilities can be invaluable in covering allied coastal craft. The accuracy of the 4.5-inch gun is not very good at long ranges, so she will struggle to land many shells on small coastal craft at longer ranges.
It is important to keep in mind that most other nations' contemporary destroyers have significantly stronger broadsides, hence it is ill-advised to engage in duels with such opponents. Showing the broadside on the Armada only brings one other main gun into play in exchange for presenting a much larger target, which is usually not worth the risk. Engaging cruisers is also ill-advised, as the 4.5-inch gun will struggle to inflict enough damage before they cripple or destroy the Armada.
Given the bow-oriented armament, it can be very tempting to present a bow-only profile towards enemies, but it is also important to note that the Armada does not have good protection for the turrets and bridge and these can be fairly easily knocked out by even autocannons. The ammunition magazines are also partially exposed above the waterline and have only slight armour plating along the sides, and none from the front and rear. Well-placed SAP shells can easily penetrate there, with potentially fatal results.
The Mk. IX torpedoes have a long range and pack the second heaviest warhead in the 533 mm class, but the torpedo tubes are slow to traverse and have poor firing arcs. It is not recommended to turn the ship simply to launch torpedoes, since that requires showing a virtually full broadside. Only use the torpedoes when an enemy is already in front of them, or there is little risk of return fire. It may also be worth considering not bringing them at all, considering their limited utility and the torpedo detonation risk if the tubes are hit.
Pros and cons
- Dual-purpose rapid-traverse, rapid-firing main guns; capable of very high elevation in the bow mountings.
- Relatively survivable for a British destroyer.
- Fastest British bluewater ship in the game.
- Access to HE-VT shells.
- Heavy secondary anti-aircraft armament of 40 mm Bofors guns.
- Main guns are concentrated forward.
- Smaller calibre and fewer main guns than contemporary destroyers from other nations.
- Main gun turret behind the funnel has restricted elevation and field-of-fire; cannot engage targets directly behind the ship.
- Highly restricted firing arcs on torpedo tubes.
- Prone to getting crippled from funnel damage since it has only one funnel.
- Losing a bow turret dramatically cripples damage output.
- Ammunition magazines are partially exposed above the waterline.
The original concept of the Battle class was to give destroyers the ability to engage air targets with their main guns. Early war experiences such as the Norwegian campaign (April-June 1940) revealed the need for a dual-purpose battery for destroyers or smaller ships in defending airstrikes, as existing guns did not have enough elevation for targeting aircraft. On 21 October 1940, the Director of Tactical and Staff Duties Division (DTSD), a directorate of the Admiralty Naval Staff of the Royal Navy responsible for the tactical use and crew training of naval weapons, stated that all future long-range guns for destroyers and smaller ships should be dual-purpose. However, at this time, the problem was that the largest destroyer gun that had enough elevation was the 4-inch gun, which was considered not "man enough" for a destroyer. Other dual-purpose batteries used on capital ships at the time were too heavy for a destroyer.
Meanwhile, opinion on specifications was divided within the Admiralty. The idea of the 1942 destroyer was discussed at a 9 April 1941 Deputy Controller's meeting. Director of Naval Construction (DNC) and Director of Naval Ordnance (DNO) both suggested the new ship to be a rearmed Tribal class by replacing one of the twin 4.7-inch mounts with a twin 4-inch gun, while DTSD wanted to build more 4-inch L class, and Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff-Home Waters (ACNS(H)) preferred new ships with more light anti-air guns (the Hazemeyers Bofors) and most main guns facing forward. In the following month's Controller meeting, DNC sketched a design with four 4.7-inch or twin 4-inch guns and four cornered light AA guns to meet requirements from different departments.
Still, this was a rough design, and replenishment was added to the arrangement in the rest of 1941: a new mounting of twin 4.5-inch with a new director was selected to replace 4.7-inch and 4-inch as primary weapons; all main armaments facing forward; a single 4-inch was placed on the middle planform to fire starshell for night operations. Construction of ten ships began in April 1942, and the remaining six were ordered on 12 August 1942. During the construction of the first 16 ships (1942 Battle class), extra modifications, including electronic power and provisions for Arctic operations, were added, causing the total displacement to increase to 2,285 tons.
HMS Armada is one of the 16 Battle-class Group 1 (1942), named for the English victory over Spanish Armada in 1588. She was laid down on 29 December 1942 in Hawthorn Leslie, Newcastle, and launched on 9 December 1943. However, due to the delays of the MK.VI director and fire control systems, Armada would not be commissioned until June 1945. By that time, she was the one of the five Battle class still equipped with the 4-inch gun. As there was an increasing need for anti-air fire for actions in the Pacific, most Battle class had the single 4-inch gun replaced with two Bofors.
Armada was nominated to 19th Destroyer Flotilla in British Pacific Fleet in June 1945. However, it would take months to conduct acceptance trials, equipment trials, and crew training, and when Armada joined the Pacific fleet in Hong Kong, December 1945, the war was already over.
In the next ten months, HMS Armada stayed in the Far East with the 19th Destroyer Flotilla to provide escorts for British flagged ships in Chinese and Indo-Chinese waters. In addition, the Flotilla visited several ports in Japan and Australia. In October, Armada was ordered for return to the UK and sent to the Reserve fleet. After three years in reserve, Armada was recalled for service with the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla in 1949. With the Flotilla, she would conduct fleet exercises, patrols, and port visits around Mediterranean coasts until April 1953, when she was sent to refit. In January 1956, Armada returned to duty with the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla and took part in Operation Musketeer against Egypt. After the United Nations intervention, Armada returned to the UK with the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla. Armada was assigned the flotilla leader in the next four years, participating in fleet exercises, visiting missions, and NATO exercises with Home Fleet. In 1960, Armada was reduced to the Reserve Fleet and was sold for breaking at the end of 1965.
Realizing the heavy losses to air attacks and the inability of the then current destroyer designs to deal with aerial threats, the Royal Navy decided to act. In 1941, the first plans for what would become the replacement for the Tribal-class were drawn up.
Contrary to previous classes, the new destroyers would focus on powerful AA armament, featuring large calibre, high-angle dual purpose guns assisted by a number of smaller calibre AA cannons. The proposed design was accepted in autumn of 1941 under the name "Battle-class" with initial plans to build a total of 16 ships, forming two flotillas. The first order for 10 ships was issued in April 1942, with the second order for the remaining six ships following in August.
Despite the orders already being placed, further debate among high-ranking officials about the final design of the ship continued. As the initial ships were already under construction, changes to the existing design couldn't be applied anymore. This led to several more subclasses being developed, but that's a story for another time.
Although the first ships were launched by November 1943, delays in their completion were caused by late deliveries of critical fire control systems. In the end, only a handful of ships were completed by the end of WW2 and none of them saw any combat action. However, most of the ships of the Battle-class continued to serve well into the Cold War.
HMS Armada was one of these early ships of the class to be completed, but due to similar reasons, was only commissioned into service in July 1945. After several port visits throughout the UK, she was placed in reserve in 1947 only to rejoin active service in 1949 as part of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, operating in the Mediterranean.
During the mid 1950s, HMS Armada was involved in the Suez Crisis, but rejoined the Home Fleet shortly after. In 1960, HMS Armada was decommissioned and five years later, in 1965, taken apart for scrap.
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
Links to articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the ship;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
- Friedman, Norman. British Destroyers & Frigates. Chapter 6. "Battle" Class. Pp 108. Pen and Sword.
- Friedman, Norman. British Destroyers & Frigates. Chapter 6. "Battle" Class. Pp 110. Pen and Sword.
- Lt Cdr Geoffrey, B Mason. 2004. HMS Armada – Battle class Destroyer. (https://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-10DD-75Battle-HMS_Armada.htm)
- Friedman, Norman. British Destroyers & Frigates. Chapter 6. "Battle" Class. Pp 112. Pen and Sword.
|R. & W. Hawthorn, Leslie and Company|
|Town-class||HMS Churchill · HMS Montgomery|
|V-class||HMS Valhalla · HMS Vega · HMS Verdun|
|G-class||HMS Grafton · ORP Garland|
|Hunt-class||HMS Calpe · HMS Brissenden|
|Tribal-class||HMCS Haida · HMS Eskimo · HMS Mohawk|
|Battle-class||HMS Armada · HMS Cadiz · HMAS Tobruk|