World of Warships

World of Warships: British Tier VI Aircraft Carrier Ark Royal Review

Let’s have a look at another British ship that was recently released. The very first tier VI Premium aircraft carrier, the terror of destroyers and Bismarck, the Ark Royal!

Tier VI British Premium Aircraft Carrier Ark Royal: Run destroyers, run!

Arc Royal.png

Her permanent camouflage gives the standard Tier VI permanent camouflage bonuses:

Ark Royal.png

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • 24 bombs per drop with the carpet bombing
  • Good fire-starting capacity
  • 3 torpedoes per drops
  • Larger reserves than the other Tier VI carriers
  • Good plane regeneration speed
  • Long-lasting Engine boost on dive and torpedo bombers
  • Amazing operations farmer

The Bad

  • Tier IV Dive Bombers and Torpedo Bombers
  • Slow planes
  • 19 mm of penetration on the bombs
  • Bad concealment
  • No armored flight deck

My opinion

The Ark Royal had an awkward development, to say the least. She started with a regeneration speed that couldn’t compensate for the low HP of the planes and their slow speed. She was also very limited in terms of damage output due to the bombs being able to only penetrate 18 mm.

Now that she is fully released, I can say it, the ship is a very good tier VI Premium. Even when she ends up in tier VIII matches, she can still do fine because of her plane regeneration speed. She is also an amazing operation farmer.

Health pool

The Ark Royal has the highest HP pool of all tier VI carriers with 44 500 HP. This will allow her to take quite a few hits before going down. Her only downside is that compared to Furious, she doesn’t have an armored flight deck so there is no chance to bounce battleship AP shells or to shatter destroyers HE shells.

Her torpedo protection is decent with 28% of torpedo damage reduction.

Attack Aircrafts

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Attack Aircraft
Blackburn Skua
Tier V
Hit points per plane 1 820
Cruise speed 121 kt
Maximum speed 161 kt
Engine boost time 5 s
Engine boost reload time 10 s
Engine cooling charges 2
Size of attacking flight 3
Aircraft per squadron 9
Rocket type RP-3 60lb HE No1 Mk.I
Rockets in payload 4
Maximum rocket damage 1 500
HE penetration 26 mm
Fire chance 5%
Detectability range 10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time 48 s
Number of aircraft on deck 14

The Attack Aircrafts of the Ark Royal are a bit of a side dish compared to her Dive Bombers and Torpedo Bombers. They don’t deal a lot of damage but they are relatively accurate and if you somehow struggle to land bombs on an enemy destroyer, they will prove to be useful at forcing it away. Overall, if you manage to run short on either of the 2 other plane types, these will be here to wait for the plane regeneration to kick in.

Torpedo Bombers

shot-19.10.15_16.13.10-0682.jpg

Torpedo Bombers
Fairey Swordfish
Tier IV
Hit points per plane 1 500
Cruise speed 98 kt
Maximum speed 133 kt
Engine boost time 20 s
Engine boost reload time 40 s
Engine cooling charges 2
Size of attacking flight 3
Aircraft per squadron 9
Torpedo type Mark VIII
Torpedoes in payload 1
Maximum torpedo damage 5 200
Torpedo speed 35 knots
Torpedo arming distance 329 m
Flooding chance 45%
Detectability range 10.0 km
Aircraft restoration time 59 s
Number of aircraft on deck 14

Admit it. If you ever want the Ark Royal, it’s to use her legendary Swordfish Torpedo bombers.

Don’t worry, you will not be disappointed by these planes. They might be slow but compared to other Tier VI carriers, you can have 3 torpedoes per drop. These torpedoes, while they are not those of the Ryujo, are still terribly effective against battleships and cruisers.

While the base speed is very disappointing at 98 knots, it is actually possible to maintain the Swordfish planes at a speed of 130 knots by giving them littles bursts with the Engine Boost. They decelerate slowly enough for the Engine Boost to be used endlessly without overheating. They are also holding surprisingly well against tier VIII ships, but don’t push your luck too much and don’t hesitate to pre-drop after taking off to secure reserves for the late game.

Dive Bombers

shot-19.10.15_16.13.22-0943.jpg

Dive Bombers
Fairey Swordfish
Tier IV
Hit points per plane 1550
Cruise speed 98 kt
Maximum speed 133 kt
Engine boost time 20 s
Engine boost reload time 40 s
Engine cooling charges 2
Size of attacking flight 3
Aircraft per squadron 9
Bomb type 40lb G.P. bomb
Bombs in payload 12
Maximum bomb damage 2 300
Projectile speed 300 kt
Air drag 0.35
Projectile mass 17.5
HE penetration 19 mm
Aircraft restoration time  56 s
Number of aircraft on deck 14

While I was impressed by the Torpedo Bombers of the Ark Royal, her dive bombers are just as impressive. You remember the scene in the 2006 movie 300 with the sky being blackened with arrows? Well, Ark Royal does that with small bombs. Her Swordfish can drop up to 24 bombs on a very small area and while they fall slowly, anything with 19 mm plating or lower that takes them will have a very bad day.

It’s simple, Ark Royal eats destroyers for breakfast (and I already see Azur Lane players coming in…). If you can find the correct lead, they will not last long under her bombs. Even against Tier VIII ships, she does well because she can still go for the superstructure and set fires.

Just like the Torpedo Bombers, you can pre-drop to maintain good reserves.

Secondary batteries

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Secondaries
8 x 2 113 mm/45 Mk III UD
Maximum Firing Range 4.00 km
Reloading Time 5.0 s
Sigma 1.00 sigma
Shells
Type of Projectile HE – 113 mm HE Mk XVI
Alpha Damage 1 600 HP
Damage 410 HP
HE penetration 18 mm
Explosion Size 0.36
Chance to Cause Fire 7 %
Projectile Speed 746 m/s
Air Drag 0.33
Projectile Mass 25

Due to their low range, these secondaries are pretty much only worth as anti-air armaments. If a destroyer rushes you…. the player would have to be really bad to die from these, let’s be honest.

The anti-air armament

shot-19.10.15_17.09.54-0207.jpg

Air Defense
8 x 2 113 mm/45 Mk III UD
Sector range 0.1 km – 6.0 km
Hit chance 100 %
Sector’s damage 27
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 95
Flak clouds number 4
Flak cloud damage 1190
6 x 8 40 mm Vickers 2-pdr. Mk VIII 
Sector range 0.1 km – 2.5 km
Hit chance 100 %
Sector’s damage 66
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 231
8 x 4 12.7 mm Mk III 
Sector range 0.1 km – 1.5 km
Hit chance 95 %
Sector’s damage 11
Sector’s damage frequency 0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second 39

For tier VI and coupled with her patrol squadron, the Ark Royal is decent when it comes to her anti-air. Her DPS is good but the problem is that it comes mostly from her pom-poms that only have 2.5 km of range.

Maneuverability and Concealment

Maneuverability and Concealment
Maximum speed 31 knots
Turning Circle Radius 990 m
Rudder Shift Time 12.8 s
Surface Detectability 14.4 km
Air Detectability  11.79 km

This is the big problem of the Ark Royal. While she has fairly good speed, she turns like a brick and she is spotted from the Moon.

I heavily recommend using Concealment Expert on her (and there is anyway nothing else to take since Sight Stabilization is a massive noob trap) if you don’t want the ship to be focused to oblivion the second she gets spotted. After all, let’s face it. A spotted carrier, for everyone in the enemy team, is a damage pinata.

With Concealment Expert and the Camouflage, she can reach a spotting range of 12.6 km by sea and 10.6 km by air.

The armor

shot-19.10.15_17.30.35-0643.jpg

The Ark Royal is sadly still from the early glory days of the Aircraft carriers. This means that unlike the Furious, she doesn’t have the armored flight deck that is so common on British carriers.

She is entirely covered by 19 mm of armor except for the superstructure with 10 mm and the main belt with 115 mm. Her citadel is exposed above the waterline so be careful when moving her around.

The consumables

Slot 1
Slot 2
Damage Control Party I
Work time: 60 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Fighter I
Number of charges: 4
Work time: 600 s
Cooldown: 40 s
Patrol Radius: 3.0 km
Fighters in the squadron: 4

Conclusion

The Ark Royal is very good for a tier VI carrier and is able to compensate very well for her low tier planes by faster regeneration speed and strong alpha strike. I strongly recommend her, especially to all the fans of operations because farming with her is easy peasy.

In random battles, she will do more than fine for the people able to manage their reserves properly even against Tier VIII ships. There are Bismarcks that need their rudders to be jammed!

Recommended build

During the testing of the Ark Royal, I used the following captain build and upgrades:

Captain build:

Ark Royal.png

  • Air Supremacy
  • Improved Engine Boost
  • Torpedo Acceleration
  • Improved Engine
  • Survivability Expert
  • Aircraft Armor
  • Demolition Expert
  • Concealment Expert

Upgrades:

  •  Air Groups Modification 1
  •  Aircraft Engines Modification 1
  •  AA Guns Modification 1
  •  Torpedo Bombers Modification 2 or  Bombers Modification 2

Since the Torpedo Bombers don’t have a Repair Party, it can actually be worth taking the Torpedo Bombers Modification 2.

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2 comments

  1. Graf Zeppelin review would be lovely welcome , despite her reputation iam curious what u feel about her . greets Thel

    1. Short version: It is the worse possible carrier. Her AP bombs are unreliable, she has the worse torpedoes with low damage and the lowest flooding chance of the game and only her rockets are somewhat decent. The only thing that makes this ship is worth mentioning is her secondaries but you don’t play CV for secondaries.

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