home

fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

TORPEDO SHIPS

VIPER turbine destroyer (1900)

Viper 1900

Name

No

Builder

Laid down

Launched

Comp

Fate

Viper

 

Hawthorn Leslie, Hebburn

1898

6/9/1899

1900

stranded 3/8/1901

 

Displacement normal, t

344

Displacement full, t

 

Length, m

65.4 oa 64.0 pp

Breadth, m

6.40

Draught, m

2.54

No of shafts

4 (twin screws)

Machinery

Parsons steam turbines, 4 Yarrow boilers

Power, h. p.

10000

Max speed, kts

33.7

Fuel, t

coal 90

Endurance, nm(kts)

3000(10)

Armament

1 x 1 - 76/40 12pdr 12cwt QF Mk I, 5 x 1 - 57/40 6pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 2 x 1 - 450 TT (4)

Complement

65

Ship project history: The 33-knotters had been failures, but already by the time these were running their trials a new form of machinery had appeared which would prove the answer to higher speed requirements. In 1897 Parsons' Turbinia had made her spectacular appearance at the Jubilee Review at Spithead, and shown that the steam turbine was a workable device. In fact Director of Naval Construction had known about Parsons' trials for some time before, and had followed them with interest. It was not therefore surprising that a turbine-powered destroyer should be ordered from Parsons on 4/3/1898. Soon afterwards Armstrong began a turbine destroyer 'on spec' at their Elswick yard which would be taken over by the Admiralty before completion.
    Initial results with these vessels were encouraging, but both were lost almost immediately. Fortunately in neither case did the turbines have anything to do with the loss. To fill the
need for further testing the Velox, building 'on spec', was purchased. All of these three turbine destroyers were 30-knotters in all respects including armament (except their machinery).

    The hull of the Viper was subcontracted to Hawthorn Leslie by Parsons. To cope with the problems of absorbing the power from the turbines two propellers were fitted per shaft. The great boon of the turbine, its lack of vibration compared to reciprocating engines, became obvious during trials, as did its much greater ability to sustain high speed.

Modernizations: None.

Naval service: 3/8/1901 Viper ran aground off Alderney. In some minutes her hull was broken apart and later was destroyed by waves. No personal losses.

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14