A destroyer is a warship. It is similar to, but is smaller and costs less than a cruiser, but

The USS Lassen, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

larger than a frigate. It is usually used as an escort in battle groups.


Destroyers are used to defend larger warships, amphibious, and merchant ships. Destroyers also go independent and bombard enemy shores, participate in search and rescue missions at sea, and support amphibious landings. And as said above, it is usually used as an escort in battle groups.



Destroyers are usually armed with guns, missiles, rockets, and torpedoes. In rare cases, they have helicopters.

Destroyers in Navies[]

A look at destroyers of different nation's navies.

Nation Number of Destroyers
U.S.A. 54
Japan 42
China 21
Russia 17
India 11
Taiwan 11
U.K. 11
South Korea 6
Italy 4
France 3
Germany 2
Egypt 1
Poland 1
Romania 1

With only 4 nations operating cruisers, and no navies operating battleships (even though the U.S. maintains two Iowa-class battleships, just in case they need to be re-activated) destroyers are the largest general-use warship (aircraft carriers have one use, carrying aircraft) in commmon use.