HMS Audacious (CV-1943)

 

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The Audacious class was meant to fix the problems of the Illustrious class. Since the prior treatys expired the Royal Navy was able to design the ships they wanted rather than the compromises they had had to build. The Audacious type was 15,000 tons standard displacement heavier than the Illustrious type and hangar area and height rivalled the Ark Royal class with aircraft capacity being increased markedly. Like the US carriers a deck park was used to increase the total carried.

Completed in 1943 the aircraft complement reflected this. The first jets were still in use while the first of the second generation were appearing aboard ships as the squadrons were trained up. The first Royal Navy SeaVampire squadrons were aboard Audacious and replaced the original SeaSpitjet's whose pilots were sent off with their aircraft to convert to later models of jets.

On completion each ship of the class did a shakedown cruise escorting the the 'Queens' and other troopships bringing US and Canadian troops accross to the UK. The interception and sinking of any of these troopships would have been catatrophic and old battlecruisers and cruisers were always assigned the 'suicide' duty of intercepting torpedos if any were spotted heading for the troopers.

Displacement 37,500 tons std, 47,000 tons full load
Length 811.8 ft
Breadth 112.8 ft hull, 135 ft flight deck/sponsons.
Draught 36 ft
Machinery 4 shaft, Geared turbines, 152,000shp
Speed 31 knots
Range 7000 miles at 18 knots
Armour Waterline belt: 4 in (100 mm)
Armoured flight deck: 14 in (25100 mm)
Hangar side: 1 in (25 mm)
Hangar deck: 1 in (25 mm)
Armament 16 4.5 inch guns (82)
61 40 mm guns (86, 22, 91)
Aircraft 60 in hangar, 20-30 deck park.
Torpedoes nil
Complement 2500
Notes HMS Audacious

HMS Formidable

HMS Irresitable

HMS Victorious

 

Two Centaur class and Audacious under construction 1942. Audacious is near its 1943 completion date while the Centaurs still have at least two years building still to go.

 

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