Six Type 42 destroyers were initially ordered with the lead ship HMS Sheffield. Originally ordered in 1968, when construction started in 1970, the ships took an extraordinary long time to build at five years. This was longer than it took the British ship building industry to build battleships of the past. Two of these were lost in the Falklands War. Sheffield was hit by one aircraft launched exocet anti-ship missile on May 4, 1982 and sank while being towed to South Georgia. On May 25, 1982 another Type 42, HMS Coventry, was hit by three bombs and sank in fifteen minutes. Both losses reflected a lack of a point defense system and inadequate damage control. A third sister was more lucky. HMS Glasgow was hit on May 12 by a single 1,000 pound bomb, which fortunately passed through the ship without exploding. If it had exploded it would have been likely that she would have been lost as well, in which case, three of the initial six Type 42 destroyers, designed for anti-aircraft missions would have been lost to air attacks within the span of a month.

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The Manchester class, Type 42C or Batch Three, ships were 41-feet longer than the Batch One and Two ships, all added at the bow. The extra buoyancy conferred by the extra internal volume made the ships far dryer and far more seaworthy. The lengthening also eliminated a lot of the crew congestion found in the original design and allowed far more missiles to be carried in enlarged magazines. Other changes over the two preceding designs was substitution of the Type 2016 sonar from the initial Type 184 sonar and the inclusion of a larger squared transom stern from the rounded stern of the original ships. This increased the area of the flight deck and made air operations safer. Four destroyers of the Type 42C or Batch Three design were ordered and were laid down in 1979 and 1980. They went into service from 1982 to 1985. With their far longer forecastle, they are much more attractive and sleek looking vessels over the other two versions. Albatros model ALK-82A of HMS Edinburgh is a member of the Manchester Class, Type 42C.

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The Albatros HMS Edinburgh Type 42C Batch 3 destroyer is available from Chris Daley at 1250Ships.com.

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