After World War I it was decided to build the class ships first then build an enlarged ship as the class leader. These were to be built under the 1927 programme. The ship's primary function was to conduct torpedo attacks.
The original design for the "A" Class was to have been 43' longer.
The "A" Class of destroyers first introduced the quad-mount torpedo launcher.
The HMCS Saguenay and HMCS Skeena initially carried Mk IV torpedoes then later Mk IX.
The HMS Codrington had Mk V torpedoes and those were later replaced by Mk IX.
The rest had Mk V torpedoes.
All were fitted with Two Speed Destroyer Sweep (TSDS) so that they could do mine sweeping.