Ardent-class destroyer

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HMS Ardent (1894) IWM Q 020958.jpg
HMS Ardent
Class overview
Name: Ardent class
Builders: Thornycroft, Church Wharf, Chiswick
Operators:  Royal Navy
Preceded by: Ferret class
Succeeded by: Charger class
In commission: 1895–1918
Completed: 3
Lost: 1
Retired: 2
General characteristics
Type: Torpedo boat destroyer
Displacement: 245 long tons (249 t) (light); 301 long tons (306 t) (full load)
Length: 201 ft 8 in (61.47 m) (overall); 201 ft 6 in (61.42 m) (waterline)
Beam: 19 ft (5.8 m) (overall)
Draught: 7 ft 3.25 in (2.2162 m)
Depth: 13 ft (4.0 m)
Complement: 52 (later 53)

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 Daring class,[2] but were larger and more powerfully engined. They were 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] the fixed bow tube was subsequently found to throw up too much spray and was removed very early in their careers, at which time two extra 6-pounder guns were installed en echelon amidships. They carried a complement of 2 officers and 50 ratings; one more was later added.

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.

Vessels in class[edit]

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


  1. ^ Lyon, op. cit., p.43
  2. ^ "Daring Class". Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  3. ^ "HMS Ardent Association Online". Retrieved 27 July 2010.


  • Lyon, David (1996). The First Destroyers. ISBN 1-84067-364-8.
  • Manning, Thomas Davys, Captain (1961). The British Destroyer. Putnam & Co.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • March, Edgar (1966). British Destroyers 1892 - 1953. Seeley Service & Co.

External links[edit]

Media related to Ardent class destroyer at Wikimedia Commons