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Sister ships: CONQUEROR, MONARCH, THUNDERER
Notes: These for ships were authorized under the1909 Program, along with the battlecruiser LION. Dissatisfaction in the Royal Navy with the 12" gun led to the adoption of the 13.5" / 45 cal. gun. Not only did the increase in caliber add to the hitting power of a salvo, but the lower muzzle velocity led to both longer barrel life and an increase in accuracy at longer ranges, as the shells were less likely to "wobble" in flight. Compared to previous battleships, side armor was extended to the main deck, and splinter protection was improved. The only weakness in the design was the siting of the tripod mainmast (and its fire control position) directly behind the forward funnel; while providing a convenient position to locate the booms for handling the ship's boats, smoke and heat interference at the fire control position was no better than in previous British battleships. But overall, the ORION class was a successful design, and proved to be a good basis for five succeeding classes of battleships.
ORION was commissioned in January, 1912 as the flagship of the 2nd Battle Squadron, Home Fleet. She joined the Grand Fleet with the 2nd Battle Squadron in August, 1914. ORION took part in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916, as flagship of Rear Admiral A. C. Levinson. During the battle, ORION fired 51 rounds from her 13.5" guns, but obtained no hits; neither was the ORION hit. Following World War I, ORION served with the Atlantic Fleet, but was discarded under terms of the Washington Treaty and sold for Breaking up in December, 1922.