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Ardent-class destroyer

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HMS Ardent (1894) IWM Q 020958.jpg
HMS Ardent
Class overview
NameArdent class
BuildersThornycroft, Church Wharf, Chiswick
Operators Royal Navy
Preceded byFerret class
Succeeded byCharger class
In commission1895–1918
General characteristics
TypeTorpedo boat destroyer
Displacement245 long tons (249 t) (light); 301 long tons (306 t) (full load)
Length201 ft 8 in (61.47 m) (overall); 201 ft 6 in (61.42 m) (waterline)
Beam19 ft (5.8 m) (overall)
Draught7 ft 3.25 in (2.2162 m)
Depth13 ft (4.0 m)

The three Ardent-class torpedo boat destroyers ("Thornycroft 27-knot (50 km/h) ") were ordered by the British Admiralty on 12 October 1893 [1] and served with the Royal Navy. Built by Thornycroft for a contract price of £110,520 for all three vessels, they displaced 301 tons fully laden, and were 201 feet 8 inches (61.47 m) long overall.

The Ardent-class were derived from the preceding 26-knot (48 km/h) Daring class,[2] but were larger and more powerfully engined. It was originally intended that they would be armed with one 12-pounder quick-firing gun forward and three 6-pounder guns, mounted on the broadside and aft, and three 18-inch torpedo tubes, one fixed in a bow mount and two on a revolving mount abaft the two funnels;[3] however the fixed bow tube fitted in the preceding '26-knotter' type had subsequently been found to throw up too much spray and was removed, and in October 1893 it was agreed that the bow tube should be omitted, giving "a clean sharp stem with no projections"[4] and instead two extra 6-pounder guns were installed en echelon amidships. These three ships - and the similar three Charger Class destroyers (ordered from Yarrow in the same week) - were the first TBDs to omit this fixed bow tube. They carried a complement of 2 officers and 48 ratings (comprising 20 deck department and 28 engine room compartment).[5]

These three ship met the speed requirement of 27 knots for which they were designed. Over the measured mile and in three-hour trials they averaged the following power (ihp) and speed:

Name Trials ihp
(measured mile)
Trials speed
R.P.M. Trials ihp
(three hours)
Trials speed
R.P.M. Displacement
Ardent 4,343 27.84 399 4,306 27.973 396.4 245
Boxer 4,487 29.076 412 4,543 29.175 412.7 243
Bruiser 4,681 27.809 372 4,257 27.97 372.8 259

At her second preliminary trial, Ardent reached 29 knots with 407 r.p.m., the engines developing 5,044 ihp. However, Boxer was the fastest British destroyer among all the 27-knotters, her best run over the measured mile being 30¾ knots. In September 1913 the Admiralty re-classed all the remaining 27-knotter destroyers as 'A' Class; this applied to both Boxer and Bruiser, although the Ardent herself had already been scrapped. Bruiser was sold for scrap eight months later, prior to the start of WW1, while Boxer was the oldest destroyer in service in the Royal Navy during the First World War, although the oldest destroyer-type vessel was the large 'torpedo boat/torpedo boat chaser' TB.81 (ex-Swift), a destroyer precursor.

Discover more about Ardent-class destroyer related topics

Vessels in class

Name Builder Yard
Laid down Launched Completed Fate
Ardent John I. Thornycroft 297 £39,555 December 1893 16 October 1894 25 March 1895 Sold 10 October 1911
Boxer John I. Thornycroft 298 £39,505 February 1894 28 November 1894 June 1895 Sunk in collision 8 February 1918
Bruiser John I. Thornycroft 299 £39,406 April 1894 27 February 1895 June 1895 Sold 26 May 1914

Source: "Ardent-class destroyer", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, August 19th),

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  1. ^ Lyon, op. cit., p.43
  2. ^ "Daring Class". Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  3. ^ "HMS Ardent Association Online". Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  4. ^ David Lyon, The First Destroyers, p.98.
  5. ^ David Lyon, The First Destroyers, p.206.

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