Some in the Royal Navy thought that the Tribal class were too gun oriented and too large so a smaller design with dual purpose guns and a full load of torpedo launches would be better. However, there were no good performing dual purpose guns available. Initially with the "J" class were to have single mounts with the hopeful dual purpose twin guns coming later.
For the first time since World War I the ships were built with longitudinal framing was used instead of transverse.
Welding was only used on girding and deck plating.
Eight "J" class ships were ordered on March 25, 1937. With flotillas being reduced to be eight ships including the leader the Jubilant was cancelled.
In 1941 the rear torpedo tubes were replace by one 4" HA Mk V. Radar 286M was fitted to the masthead and eventually replaced by radar 286P that was then replaced by radar 291 in 1942.
Two Oerlikons were added abreast of the searchlight platforms and two replacing the .5" machine guns. These were often replaced by twin mounts.
It was decided to only use two boilers instead of the three that previous classes had.