YGD take a tour of HMS York

Like most men i’m a big kid when it comes to all things military and jumped at the chance to have a look round HMS York (D98) when it was opened to the public at Hull’s King George Dock yesterday. The 5,200 tonne Type 42 destroyer, launched in 1982, was in Hull on a farewell tour as it is set to be decommissioned later this month. On Saturday the crew marched through the streets of York to mark the end of the ships service, giving the people of York the chance to celebrate the crew and the ship with which their city is affiliated.

Armed with my camera, I set off up the gangway for a look round the 141 metre Type 42 destroyer. I was only expecting to be permitted to wander around the upper deck and was pleasantly surprised when we were led deep into the bowels of the ship, which has racked up over 750,000 miles during her 27 years at sea.

With seemingly nowhere off limits, we were shown around various sections of the ship including the canteen, crew quarters and even the operations room. Navigating to different areas of the ship by a series of steep staircases and confined corridors gave you a brief insight into how claustrophobic working below deck must have felt for some of the 287 crew required to operate the ship when on deployment. After ascending the final steps we emerged on the bridge at the business end of the ship. This is the part I had been looking forward to most, getting up close to the awesome firepower. With a maximum speed of 34 knots (39 mph), HMS York is (was) the Navy’s fastest destroyer and also packs a punch with an array of impressive weaponry including a 4.5in Mk8 gun, 2 x Sea Dart missiles and 2 x Phalanx Close-in weapons system.

It’s a shame to see such an iconic ship decommissioned, but after having a look around it was obvious that she had been constructed in a different era, and technology has moved on greatly since she first took to the water over 27 years ago. A single Type 45 destroyer, the successor to the Type 42’s, can simultaneously track, engage and destroy more targets than five Type 42 destroyers operating together, reinforcing the Navy’s point that “HMS York has come to the end of its natural life’.

Click on a photograph below to launch the image gallery.

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