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Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Belfast (C35) approaching light fleet carrier HMS Ocean (R30) off the coast of Taiwan in 1944.

The Colossus-class light fleet carriers were a class of light aircraft carrier built for the Royal Navy during the build-up to World War II. They were designed and constructed by civilian shipyards to serve as an intermediate step between the expensive, full-size fleet aircraft carriers and the less expensive but limited-capability escort carriers.

The Colossus-class light fleet carrier, NRB Minas Gerais (A11).

Despite being intended as 'disposable warships', all of the completed Light Fleet carriers exceeded their planned three-year service life. The maintenance carriers were the first to be paid off in the 1950s, and by the 1960s, all of the Royal Navy carriers, (bar Mars, which was later recommissioned as a repair ship) had been sold to other nations or for ship breaking. The carriers in other navies had longer services lives. At the time of her decommissioning in 2001, the Brazilian aircraft carrier Minas Gerais was the oldest active aircraft carrier in the world.

Specifications[]

  • Type: Light Fleet Carrier
  • Service Period: 1937-2001
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 695 feet (211.84 meters)
    • Beam: 80 feet (24.38 meters)
    • Draught: 22 feet 2 inches (6.76 meters)
    • Displacement: 15,750 tons (Standard); 19,500 tons (Full Load)
  • Crew: 1,050
  • Propulsion: 4 × Admiralty superheated high pressure boilers, 4 × Parsons single reduction geared steam turbines, 4 x shafts, 80,000 shp
  • Range: 12,000 nautical miles (22,224 kilometers) at 14 knots (25.93 km/h)
  • Speed: 30 knots (55.56 km/h)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • Type 293 Air/Surface Search RDF
    • Type 291 Air Warning RDF
    • Type 277 Height Finder RDF
  • Armament:
    • 32 x Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft guns (8x4)
  • Aircraft Carried: 38-52 aircraft

Unit Run[]

  • HMS Colossus (R25) - sold to ROC as ROCS Nanjing (R02)
  • HMS Vengeance (R26) - sold to Brazil as NRB Minas Gerais (A11)
  • HMS Venerable (R27) - sold to Netherlands as HNLMS Karel Doorman (R01)
  • HMS Mars (R28) - converted to repair ship
  • HMS Glory (R29) - sold to ROC as ROCS Shanghai (R01)
  • HMS Ocean (R30) - converted to commando carrier
  • HMS Edgar (R30) - sold to Netherlands as HNLMS de Brik (R02)
  • HMS Theseus (R32) - converted to commando carrier
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