Planning for Audacious, the fourth of the Royal Navy's new attack submarines, began back in 2007 with the order of items with long lead times, and her keel was laid at Barrow on 24 March 2009. Although the same design as her three older sisters, Audacious will benefit from improvements identified during build and trial of Astute, Ambush and Artful, with improved performance or financial savings to be gained from such 'tweaks' as an uprated chilled water plant and the replacement of copper-nickel hull valves with titanium equivalents, – the latter yielding estimated savings of £16m.
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ABOUT THE UNIT
- Displacement (Dived)
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- Speed (up to)
- Amount of Cable used
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- Commissioned Date
UNITS IN TIME
TRACK THE HISTORY OF SHIPS NAMED Audacious
As Good as an Audacious
There have been four, five or even six ships with the name Audacious before the submarine currently in build, and a seventh which was as good as an Audacious. The latter was a 14-gun sloop, the Audacieux, captured from the French in 1797 and last listed (as HMS Audacieux) on Admiralty books in 1801.
The First HMS Audacious Proper
The first HMS Audacious proper, an Arrogant-class 74-gun 3rd Rate ship of the line, was built by Randall at Rotherhithe and launched on 23 July 23rd. She served for 30 years, and was with Nelson at the Battle of the Nile, helping force the French Conquerant to surrender. She was broken up in the summer of 1815.
Two Brief Appearances
Two more virtual warships named Audacious also made brief appearances. One was a 2nd Rate screwship of 3,083 tons built at Pembroke Dock, but she was renamed the James Watt before she ws laid down in November 1847. The other was a 36,800-ton aircraft carrier built at Harland Wolff in Belfast, originally named Audacious but renamed Eagle just two months before she was launched, on 19 March 1946.
The Second HMS Audacious
The second HMS Audacious was an early ironclad battleship of some 6,010 tons built at the Napier shipyard. She was name-ship of her class, and designed for foreign service – in the case of Audacious, that meant the China Station, serving as flagship, until 1878. She returned to home waters as a guard ship at Hull and was refitted in 1880 before returning to the China Station for nine years. She spent her final years as a repair ship and receiving hulk from 1914, renamed Imperieuse, and finally as a receiving hulk at Scapa Flow,renamed Victorious. She was scrapped in the late 1920s.
The Third Audacious
The third HMS Audacious was a 23,000-ton King George V Class battleship,launched at the Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead on 14 September 1912 and commissioned on 15 October 1913. Whilst exercising with the Grand Fleet off Northern Ireland on October 27th 1914, the super-dreadnought struck a German mine, and as her bulkhead doors were open she quickly took on dangerous amounts of water. Several attempts were made to tow her to shallow water, but she exploded and sank the following day. Her entire crew had been safely evacuated, but her loss was kept under wraps – and a merchantman became a phantom fourth Audacious, as the Canadian Pacific ship SS Montcalm was fitted out as a dummy of the lost battleship, taking her place amongst other decoys at Scapa Flow to confuse German intelligence.
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