HMS Eagle was an aircraft carrier of the British Royal Navy, in service from 1951 to 1972. She wass one of the largest British aircraft carriers yet built. HMS Eagle was initially laid down in 1942 at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast as Audacious, the lead ship of four Audacious class aircraft carriers planned. These aircraft carriers were laid down during World War II as part of the British naval buildup during that conflict. Two were cancelled at the end of the war.
Originally designated Audacious, she was finally launched as HMS Eagle in March 1946, after the planned Audacious class carrier Eagle was cancelled. A number of changes were incorporated into the design and the ship was commissioned in October 1951. HMS Eagle was extensively modernized in the course of her service with the Royal Navy, including having an angled flight deck. Despite being in excellent material condition, and capable of another 10 years of service, Eagle was paid off in January 1972. Eagle was sold for scrap in 1978.