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COBRA turbine destroyer (1, 1901)


Photo



Cobra

Ships


Name

No

Yard No

Builder

Laid down

Launched

Comp

Fate

Cobra

   

Armstrong, Elswick

1898

28/6/1899

1901

foundered 18/9/1901



Technical data


Displacement normal, t

375

Displacement full, t490
Length, m

68.2 oa 65.2 pp

Breadth, m

6.28

Draught, m

2.13

No of shafts

4 (triple screws)

Machinery

4 Parsons steam turbines, 4 Yarrow boilers

Power, h. p.

11500

Max speed, kts

30

Fuel, t

coal 106

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

62



Graphics


<i>Cobra</i>
Cobra
 
 


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).

Cobra was purchased in 1900 from Armstrong. She had run her first trials as early as July 1899, but had then suffered damage in a collision. Three propellers were fitted to each shaft. Construction was lighter than was normal for Royal Navy destroyers, and may help to explain her loss on her delivery voyage. This loss is still something of a mystery, is Cobra suddenly broke in two and sank in heavy weather off the Yorkshire coast. The Court Martial certainly attributed the loss to structural weakness, but the survivors reported feeling an impact before she split, and though no wreckage was subsequently found in the area it still remains a distinct possibility that hitting a mast or spar from a wreck initiated the break. Her loss caused a Committee to be set up to enquire into the strength of destroyers which cleared the 30-knotters of the suspicion that they might founder from structural weakness.

Modernizations


None.

Naval service


18/9/1901 on passage from Tyne to Chatham (she had to receive TTs there) Cobra was broken in two and sank by unknown cause. 67 men from 79 were lost.