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United Kingdom - Royal Navy
Audacious class Aircraft Carrier


audacious class aircraft carrier navy r-05 hms eagle r-09 hms ark royal 02


R 05 HMS Eagle (1951)
R 09 HMS Ark Royal (1955) 
Length: 245 meters (804 ft)
Beam: 34 meters (112 ft) - as built / 52 meters (171 ft) after modification
Draft: 9,5 meters (31 ft)
Displacement: 37400 tons (standard) / 47000 tons (full load) - as built
Speed: 31,5 knots (58,3 km/h), max.
Range: 7000 NM (13000 km) at 14 knots (26 km/h) / 5000 NM (9300 km) at 24 knots (44 kmh)
Complement: 2250 (2640 incl. air staff)
8 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers
4 x Parsons geared turbines
152000 sHp (113000 KW)
Aviation: full flight deck & hangar for up to 50 aircraft (as built) - 40 after modification


The Audacious class was originally designed as an expansion of the Implacable class with double storied hangars. However, it was realised that the hangar height would not be sufficient for the new aircraft that were expected to enter service, so the design was considerably enlarged.

Four ships were laid down between 1942 and 1943 during World War II as part of the British naval buildup - Africa, Irresistible, Audacious and Eagle. At the end of hostilities Africa and Eagle were cancelled. Work on the remaining two was suspended. They would be renamed and built to differing designs in the 1950s.

As the builds of Audacious (renamed Eagle) and Irresistible (renamed Ark Royal) progressed they differed so much that they effectively became the lead (and sole) ships of each of their own classes. They formed the backbone of the postwar carrier fleet, and were much modified.

Ships in class:

HMS Eagle (R05)
(Commissioned October 1951) (Ex Audacious)
Laid down in 1942 at Harland and Wolff, Belfast as HMS Audacious.
Renamed at the start of 1946 as Eagle after the aircraft carrier that was sunk in 1942.
Launched in March 1946.
Decommissioned January 1972.

HMS Ark Royal (R09)
(Commissioned 1955) (Ex Irresistible)
Intended as HMS Irresistible, but named after the third Ark Royal that was lost in 1941.
Work on Ark Royal began in 1943 at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.
Launched in 1950.
Decommissioned February 1979.

HMS Eagle
Ordered from Swan Hunter, Wallsend-on-Tyne in August 1942. Transferred to Vickers-Armstrong in December that year. Cancelled.

HMS Africa
Ordered from Fairfield, Govan on 12 July 1943. Re-ordered as Malta class in 1944. Cancelled 15 October 1945

source: wikipedia



audacious class aircraft carrier navy r-05 hms eagle r-09 hms ark royal 03
HMS Ark Royal (R 09) - 1971

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