Another addition was made to the Austrian navy by the launching on May 18 of the ram cruiser Franz Josef I. from the yards of S. Rocco in the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino. Her dimensions are: Length (over all), 103.7 meters; length (between perpendiculars), 97.9 meters; greatest breadth (outside), 14.8 meters; draught (bow), 5.28 meters; draught (stern), 6.05 meters; displacement on the construction water line, 4,000 tons. The armament consists of two 24-centimeter and six 15-centimeter Krupp breech loaders of 35 caliber length, two 7-centimeter Uchatius guns as an armament for the boats and for landing purposes, eleven Hotchkiss quick-firing guns, and several torpedo-launching ports; indicated horse power with natural draught 6,400, speed 17.5 knots; with forced draught 9,800, speed 19 knots.

The ship is built of steel, and constructed according to the "double bottom" system along the engine, boiler, and ammunition rooms. The vaulted armor deck, extending 1.25 meters below the water line and protecting the most vital parts of the ship, is 0.057 meter thick. There are more than 100 water tight compartments below and above the deck. A protecting belt of "cellulose" is provided for the engines and boilers, extending from the armor deck downward.

The two main guns, placed on Krupp's hydraulic carriages, occupy positions in front and rear, and are protected by stands 0.09 meter thick and 1.60 meters high. They fire en barbette with a lateral range each of 260 degrees at bow and stern - i.e., 130 degrees on either of the broadsides. The weight of the barrel of the gun is 25 tons, that of the steel shell 215 kilogrammes (about 430 lb.), that of the brown powder charge 100 kilogrammes; initial velocity of projectile, 610 meters; penetration, 0.524 meter iron; longest range, 17 kilometers (about 10½ English miles); range at 15 deg. elevation, 10 kilometers. The six 15-centimeter guns are placed in a kind of machicouli arrangement in two tiers on each of the broadsides, so that always four guns can fire in the direction of the keel to the front and rear. The weight of the barrel of the gun is each six tons, that of the steel shells 51 kilogrammes, that of the charge 22 kilogrammes; initial velocity, 610 meters.

The 11 quick-firing guns are partly placed along the broadsides, partly in the masts, of which there are two. The triple expansion engines, having each a bronze screw of 4.42 meters diameter, with three blades and a rise of 6.3 meters, make with natural draught 105 revolutions, and with forced draught 120. The pumping apparatus are able to lift in one hour 400 tons of water. The front boiler room contains a special cylindrical boiler for the working of the electrical apparatus, for hydraulic pumps of the artillery service, for anchor windlasses, ventilators, fire engines, etc. The whole engines weigh 890 tons. The bunkers have a capacity for 660 tons of coal, which allows for a run of 4,500 sea miles.