Ajax-class ship of the line

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HMS Ajax (1798).jpg
Class overview
Name: Ajax
Operators:  Royal Navy
Preceded by: Mars class
Succeeded by: Pompée class
In service: 17 January 1798–1881
Completed: 2
General characteristics
Type: Ship of the line
  • 182 ft 3 in (55.5 m) (gundeck)
  • 149 ft 8 in (45.6 m) (keel)
Beam: 49 ft 3 in (15.0 m)
Propulsion: Sails
  • 74 guns:
  • Gundeck: 28 × 32-pounders
  • Upper gundeck: 30 × 24-pounders
  • Quarterdeck: 12 × 9-pounders
  • Forecastle: 4 × 9-pounders
Notes: Ships in class include: Kent, Ajax

The Ajax-class ships of the line were a class of two 74-gun third rates of the Royal Navy. They were grouped in with the large class of 74s, as they carried 24-pounders on their upper gun decks, rather than the 18-pounders of the middling and common class 74s. The design of the Ajax class was a lengthened (by 11 ft (3.4 m)) version of the Valiant class, the lines of which were taken from the French Invincible, captured in 1747.


Builder: Perry, Blackwall Yard
Ordered: 10 June 1795
Launched: 17 January 1798
Fate: Broken up, 1881
Builder: Randall, Rotherhithe
Ordered: 10 June 1795
Launched: 3 March 1798
Fate: Accidentally burnt, 1807


  • Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line – Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650–1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.