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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

AIRCRAFT CARRYING SHIPS

EAGLE fleet aircraft carriers (1951-1955)

Eagle as designed

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Eagle (ex-Audacious) R05 1220 Harland & Wolff, Belfast 24/10/1942 19/3/1946 1/10/1951 stricken 10/1978
Eagle   73 Vickers-Armstrong, Tyne 19/4/1944 --- --- cancelled 1/1946
Ark Royal R09 1119 Cammell Laird, Birkenhead 3/5/1943 3/5/1950 25/2/1955 stricken 2/1979

As designed:

Displacement standard, t

36800

Displacement full, t

46000

Length, m

219.5 pp 245.0 oa

Breadth, m

34.4 wl 31.2 fd

Draught, m

9.50 deep load

No of shafts

4

Machinery

4 sets Parsons geared steam turbines, 8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers

Power, h. p.

152000

Max speed, kts

32

Fuel, t

7490 oil

Endurance, nm(kts) 5000(24)

Armour, mm

belt: 114, hangar sides: 38bulkheads: 114 - 38, flight deck: 102

Armament

8 x 2 - 114/45 QF Mk III, 8 x 8 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 60 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 78 aircraft (Seafire, Firefly, Sea Hornet, Sea Fury fighters, Barracuda, Firebrand torpedo bombers)

Sensors

radars

Complement 2740

Aircraft facilities (fd - 7,560m², ha - 4,840m² / 25,652m³): Flight deck: 242.3(useful length) x 31.2m. Upper and lower hangars were 5.3m in height and had useful area 4840m2 summary. There were 2 lifts (13.6t, 16.5x13.4m fwd and 16.5x10.0m aft). There were 2 catapults BH-V (13.6t plane was launched at 139km/h). Aircraft fuel stowage was 465,000l.  

Ship project history: Much improved Illustrious would have flight deck protected by 102mm armour on 25mm plating. Very large hangar had area as on Ark Royal. Underwater protection was modified, two sea water-filled outer compartments there are. It was planned that this protection can stand explosion of 545kg warhead and possibly 908kg. Late 1945 they planned to arm these ships by 8 x 6, 2 x 2 and 12 x 1 40mm Bofors and 18 20mm Oerlikons.

Protection:  Flight deck has 102mm of armour, lying over 25mm steel plates inside and 37mm outside citadel. There was 64-25mm lower hangar deck, magazines and steering gear were protected by 114 - 51mm vertical and 102mm horizontal armour. Hangar sides had 38mm protection. Underwater protection was a modification of previous designs, longitudinal bulkhead was 63mm thick.

EAGLE

Eagle 1951

Eagle 1959

Eagle 1964

Eagle 1968

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Eagle (ex-Audacious) R05 1220 Harland & Wolff, Belfast 24/10/1942 19/3/1946 1/10/1951 stricken 10/1978

 

Displacement standard, t

43060 (finally nearly 45000)

Displacement full, t

53390

Length, m

219.5 pp 245.0 oa (finally 247.4)

Breadth, m

34.4 wl 52.1 fd

Draught, m

11.0

No of shafts

4

Machinery

Parsons geared steam turbines, 8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers

Power, h. p.

152000

Max speed, kts

31

Fuel, t

oil 5500

Endurance, nm(kts) 4500(24)

Armour, mm

belt: 102, hangar sides: 25, flight deck: 102 - 25, hangar deck: 51 - 25

Armament

8 x 2 - 120/45 Mk 6, 8 x 6 - 40/60 Mk 6, 2 x 2 - 40/60 Mk 5, 9 x 1 - 40/60 Mk 7, 60 aircraft (Firefly, Sea Hornet, Sea Fury, Attacker fighters, Barracuda, Firebrand torpedo bombers, Firefly ASW planes, Hoverfly, Dragonfly, Sycamore helicopters)

Sensors

type 960, type 940, type 982, type 983, type 242Q, type 293Q, 4x type 275, 10x type 262, type 974 radars

Complement 2750

Aircraft facilities (fd - ~ 12,765m², ha - 4,840m² / 25,652m³): Flight deck: 245.0 (useful length)x52.1m. Upper and lower hangars were 5.3m in height and had useful area 4840m2 summary. There were 2 lifts (13.6t, 16.5x13.4m fwd and 16.5x10.0m aft). There were 2 catapults BH-V (13.6t plane was launched at 153km/h). Aircraft fuel stowage was 1,700,000l of kerosine and 72,000l of petrol.

Year Fighters Attackers ASW planes Early warning planes Helicopters
1953 16 Attacker FB.2, 8 Sea Hornet NF.21 --- 16 Firefly 4 Skyraider AEW.1 1 Dragonfly HR.5
1956 16 Sea Hawk FGA.6, 14 Sea Venom FAW.21 6 Wyvern S.4 6 Gannet AS.4 --- ---
1966 16 Sea Vixen FAW.2, 4 Scimitar F.1 14 Buccaneer S.1 --- 4 Gannet AEW.3 5 Wessex HAS.1, 1 Whirlwind HAR.5

Protection:  Flight deck has 102mm armour lying over 25mm steel plates. There was 64-38mm lower hangar deck, magazines and steering gear were protected by 114 - 51mm vertical and 102mm horizontal armour. Underwater protection was a modification of previous designs.

Modernizations: 2/1955: angled deck (5.50) was fitted. - 1 x 6 - 40/60, 3 x 1 - 40/60, 1x type 262 radar

(Devonport DYd, 5/1959 - 5/1964): new angled deck (8.50), catapults replaced by new B5-4 type (13.6t planes dispersed up to 195km/h). Starboard catapult was 46m length, port catapult was 61m. Thickness of flight deck reduced to 38 - 25mm. Power of electric station doubled. New armament and sensors: 6 x 4 Sea Cat GWS22 SAM (24 Sea Cat), 4 x 2 - 114/45 Mk 6, 45 aircraft (Sea Vixen, Scimitar fighters, Buccaneer attackers, Sea Venom, Gannet ECM planes, Gannet EEW planes, Dragonfly, Whirlwind, Wessex, Wasp helicopters), type 984, type 963, type 965 (AKE-2), type 242Q, type 293Q, 4x type 275 radars, ADA CCS. Half of lower hangar area was used as workshops.

Naval service: Ship was renamed Eagle in January 1946. Paid off 1/1972.

ARK ROYAL

Ark Royal 1955

Ark Royal 1965

Ark Royal 1968

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Ark Royal R09 1119 Cammell Laird, Birkenhead 3/5/1943 3/5/1950 25/2/1955 stricken 2/1979

 

Displacement standard, t

43340

Displacement full, t

53060

Length, m

219.5 pp 245.0 oa (finally 247.4)

Breadth, m

34.4 wl 50.1 deck

Draught, m

11.0

No of shafts

4

Machinery

4 sets Parsons geared steam turbines, 8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers

Power, h. p.

152000

Max speed, kts

31

Fuel, t

5500 oil

Endurance, nm(kts) 4500(24)

Armour, mm

belt: 102, hangar sides: 25, flight deck: 102 - 25, hangar deck: 51 - 25

Armament

6 x 2 - 120/45 Mk 6, 6 x 6 - 40/60 Mk 6, 2 x 2 - 40/60 Mk 5, 6 x 1 - 40/60 Mk 7, 50 aircraft (Sea Hawk, Wyvern, Sea Venom fighters, Firefly, Avenger, Gannet ASW planes, Skyraider EEW planes, Dragonfly, Sycamore helicopters)

Sensors

type 960, 2§ type 982, type 983, 3x type 275, 8x type 262, type 974 radars

Complement 2637

Aircraft facilities (fd - ~ 12,275m², ha - 4,840m² / 25,652m³): 5.5░angled flight deck: 245.0 (useful length)x50.1m. Upper and lower hangars were 5.3m in height and had useful area 4840m2 summary. There were 3 lifts (13.6t, 16.5x13.4m fwd and 16.5x10.0m aft centreline lifts and 13.6t, 17.5x10.7m deck edge lift for upper hangar). There were 2 catapults BH-V (46m, on foredeck and on angled deck) (13.6t plane was launched at 153km/h). Aircraft fuel stowage was 1,460,000l of kerosine and 314,000l of petrol. Angled deck catapult was lengthened to 61m in 1970.

Year Fighters Attackers EEW planes Helicopters
1960 14 Scimitar F.1, 6 Sea Vixen FAW.1 --- 4 Gannet AEW.3 14 Whirlwind HAS.7, 1 Dragonfly HR.5
1977 14 Phantom FG.1 12 Buccaneer S.2 5 Gannet AEW.3 7 Sea King HAS.1, 1 Wessex HU.5

Protection:  There was 51-25mm lower hangar deck, magazines and steering gear were protected by 114 - 51mm vertical and 102mm horizontal armour. Underwater protection was a modification of previous designs.

Modernizations: 1956: - 2 x 2 - 120/45, 1x type 275 radar

9/1959: deck edge lift removed; - 2 x 6 - 40/60, 6 x 1 - 40/60, 2x type 262 radars; + type 965M radar

1961: new more powerful catapults fitted

11/1964:  new angled deck (8.5░), thickness of flight deck was decreased to 38mm; - 2 x 2 - 120/45

2/1970: New armament and sensors: places reserved for 4 § 4 Sea Cat GWS22 SAM, no guns, 36 aircraft (Sea Vixen, Phantom fighters, Buccaneer attackers, Gannet EW planes),  type 960, 2§ type 982, type 983, 2x type 275, 4x type 262, 2x type 965M (AKE-2), type 974, SPN-35 radars

Naval service: Paid off 12/1978.

Eagle 1957

Ark Royal 1961

Many thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.

ę Ivan Gogin, 2008-15