HMS Audacious was an Audacious-class aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy, in service 1951–1972. With her sister ship Ark Royal, she was one of the two largest Royal Navy aircraft carriers built.
She was laid down on 24 October 1942 at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast as one of four ships of the Audacious class. These were laid down during World War II as part of the British naval buildup during that conflict. Two were cancelled at the end of hostilities, and the remaining two were suspended. Originally designated Audacious, she was renamed as Eagle, taking the name of the cancelled third ship of the class on 21 January 1946. She was finally launched by Princess Elizabeth on 19 March 1946.
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