Fleet Aircraft Carrier

Three ships of the Audacious class were laid down with the third, Eagle, cancelled when partially built at Swan Hunter. Ark Royal built by Cammell Laird, laid down on 3 May 1943 and launched 3 March 1950. She was completed 25 February 1955.

At the end of the Second World War, work was halted for three years. Eagle was then completed to its original axial deck design. Ark Royal was completed to a modified design, being considerably delayed to allow the incorporation of new technologies such as an angled flight deck and steam catapults. Eagle was then refitted to a similar standard to Ark Royal. Both ships underwent a complicated series of refits, each making one ship slightly more advanced than the other.

Paid off for modernisation and major refit at Devonport Dockyard 4 October 1966. Recommissioned at Devonport 24 February 1970. Returned to Devonport to pay off for last time 4 December 1978. Stricken 1980 and broken up at Cairn Ryan, Wigtownshire from 22 September 1980.

Battle Honours
None in WW2

None in WW2

Squadrons and Aircraft
No squadrons and aircraft in 1939-1945.

Associations and Reunions
Ark Royal Association

See Ark Royal III Website This is the home page of the Ark Royal III Historical web site, devoted to one of the Royal Navy's most famous WWII fighting ships, the aircraft-carrier H.M.S. Ark Royal III. [not functioning 2001]

Carrier name HMS Ark Royal
Class Audaceous
Type Fleet Aircraft Carrier
Ships in Class Audacious, Eagle, Ark Royal
Launched Laid down 3 May 1943. Launched 3 March 1950. Completed 25 February 1955
Tonnage As built: Displacement: 43,060 tons standard ; 49,950 tons full load 
Engines Propulsion: 8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 4 shafts, Parsons SR geared turbines, 152,000 shp
Speed in Knots Speed: 30.5 knots
Armament Armament: 8 twin 4.5-inch / 45 Mk 6 DP turrets ; 5 sextuple Bofors 40 mm AA ; 2 twin Bofors 40 mm ; 6 single Bofors 40 mm ; 4 single 3 pdr saluting guns
Crew Complement Complement: 2756 (including air group)
Range  Range: 7,000 nmiles at 14 knots ; 5,500 tons fuel oil
Length (ft/inches) Dimensions: 808.25 oa x 158.4 x 35.6 feet
Beam (ft/inches)
Draught (ft/inches)
Flight Deck length (ft/inches)
Flight Deck width (ft/inches)
Armour Armour: 4.5 inch belt ; 1.5 inch hangar sides ; 1 to 2.5 inch hangar deck ; 4 inch (above hangar) 1.5 inch (rest) flight deck
Number of aircraft carried Aircraft: up to 50
Fate of carrier Stricken 1980 and broken up at Cairn Ryan, Wigtownshire from September 1980. 
Notes Due to the various refits undergone by these ships their technical details are listed individually. 

British Forces. com web Information
World Aircraft Carrier Lists and Photo Gallery - from 1913 to 2000. Naval History Information Center, Haze Gray & Underway American based World Aircraft Carrier Lists & Photo Gallery - one of the definitive online sources for British and world aircraft carrier & seaplane tender data, histories and images - over 1000 photos. 
 Sturtivant, R & Ballance, T  (1994). 'The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm' Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1994 ISBN: 0 85130 223 8

The World’s Warships 1941 by Francis E. McMurtrie (1944). Janes London 1941 1st ed. 

Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II by Francis E. McMurtrie (Editor)(1944). 320 pages. Crescent Books; ISBN: 0517679639

        Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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