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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

AIRCRAFT CARRYING SHIPS

ARGUS aircraft carrier (1918)

Argus 1918

Argus 1918

Argus 1943

Name No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Argus (ex-Conte Rosso) N96, 49, D49 Beardmore, Dalmuir 6/1914 2/12/1917 9/1918 hulk 8/1944

 

Displacement normal, t

14550

Displacement full, t

15750

Length, m

172.5

Breadth, m

20.7

Draught, m

6.4

No of shafts

4

Machinery

Parsons geared steam turbines, 12 cylindrical boilers

Power, h. p.

20000

Max speed, kts

20

Fuel, t

2000 oil
Endurance, nm(kts) 7000(15)
Armour, mm magazines: 51

Armament

6 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V, 20 aircraft (Pup, Camel fighters, 11/2-strutter recon planes, Cuckoo torpedo bombers)

Complement

401

Aircraft facilities (fd - 3,571m², ha - 1,363m² / 6,135m³): Hangar: 89.7x15.2m. There were 2 lifts (9.1x11 and 18.3x5.5m). Aircraft fuel stowage was 63,545l. Flight deck: 143.3x22.9m.

Year Fighters Torpedo bombers Recon planes Seaplanes
1/1920 4 Camel --- 8 11/2-Strutter, 2 Walrus 2 Fairey III
1921 --- --- 10 Panther 3 Fairey IIIC
7/1938 --- 14 Swordfish --- ---
8/1940 --- 3 Swordfish --- ---
4/1941 --- 12 Swordfish --- ---
5/1941 3 Fulmar --- --- ---
8/1941 2 Martlet --- --- ---
11/1941 4 Fulmar, 2 Sea Hurricane 4 Swordfish --- ---
1/1942 4 Fulmar 4 Swordfish --- ---
10/1942 18 Seafire IIC --- --- ---

Ship project history: Argus was ordered as a passenger liner Conte Rosso by Italian shipowner. In August, 1916 she was gained by Admiralty for conversion into an aircraft carrier. The first-ever aircraft carrier with full length deck and the hangar arranged below. Argus originally been equipped by two lifts, longitudinal arresting gear and had no catapults.

To the beginning of the Second World War the ship was used as TS, her speed did not exceed 18.75kts.

Protection: Underwater protection was calculated  for an underwater explosion of 200kgs TNT. Magazines had 51mm-thick box-shaped protection.

Modernizations: 1922: 2 lifts changed by new one (6.1t)

(11/1925 - 1/1927, Chatham DYd): bulges fitted, displacement became 14555/16750t, breadth wl was 23.7m, flight deck lengthened to 167.0x23.1m; - 2 x 1 - 102/45

1932: all guns were removed.

1936: adapted for launch "Queen Bee" remote controlled flying targets.

7/1938: catapult was fitted (5.5t plane dispersed up to 120km/h), cylindrical boilers were changed by 8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, flight deck was 167.0x25.9m, 21500hp, 19kts, 2045t of oil, 4450(16)nm, aircraft fuel stowage was 63,644l; + 2 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V, 3 x 4 - 12.7/62

2/1942: length of flight deck raised to 173.7m (fd - 3,596m², ha - 1,363m² / 6,135m³); + 2 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V, 13 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 1 x 4 - 12.7/62.

1942 - 1943: - 1 x 4 - 12.7/62;  + 2 x 1 - 102/45 QF Mk V

Naval service: To the beginning of the Second World War Argus was used as TS, her speed did not exceed 18.75kts. In days of war she served basically as an air transport (the maximum number of aircraft transported for once was 92).  Some time after refit in 1942 Argus was used as combat shipShe was damaged by hit of 250kg bomb to aft part of flight deck 10/11/1942 in operation Torch. She was reclassified as TS after refit in September, 1943. Argus was reclassified as harbour craft in 1944.

Argus 1919

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14