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Plans to preserve the legacy of the Royal Navy’s Invincible class aircraft carriers

Wednesday, September 12th 2012 - 01:58 UTC
Full article 25 comments
The last of the ships to be decommissioned, HMS Illustrious, is due to retire from the Royal Navy in 2014 The last of the ships to be decommissioned, HMS Illustrious, is due to retire from the Royal Navy in 2014

Plans to preserve the legacy of the Royal Navy's Invincible Class aircraft carriers have been outlined. HMS Invincible, HMS Illustrious and HMS Ark Royal came into service in the early 1980s and have spent the last thirty years protecting the UK's interests across the world.

The last of the ships to be decommissioned, HMS Illustrious, is due to retire from the Royal Navy in 2014 and the MOD is announcing the intention to seek proposals from organisations interested in preserving her as a lasting tribute to the work of the Invincible Class, which have played key roles in conflicts in the Falkland Islands, Iraq and Bosnia.

HMS Invincible was decommissioned in 2005 and later recycled. The 31-year-old HMS Ark Royal was withdrawn from service last year, following the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review. The MOD announced that she will also be recycled as part of a £2.9m deal with Leyal, the same company responsible for recycling Invincible in 2011.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said that it is important to preserve the legacy of the Royal Navy's Invincible Class aircraft carriers.

“When the last of these - HMS Illustrious - retires from the Royal Navy, we would like to see her preserved as a legacy to the work she, Invincible and Ark Royal have done to protect the UK over three decades.

“We would be keen to seek innovative proposals from a range of organisations, including private sector companies, charities and trusts.

”HMS Ark Royal, like her sister ships, served this country with great distinction. Retiring her five years earlier than planned was a difficult decision but it was the right one that, combined with her sale, has saved over a hundred million pounds. That has helped the MOD achieve a sustainable and balanced budget for the first time in decades.

“The Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth Class carriers and the Lightning II aircraft that will fly off them are among the biggest projects of the now fully funded equipment program that will see around £160bn spent on equipment and support for our Armed Forces of the future.”

Preparatory work will be carried out on HMS Ark Royal over the winter to enable her to travel from Portsmouth to Turkey, where she will be recycled, at the same location where HMS Invincible was also recycled. Bids received for further use for HMS Ark Royal were considered but were judged either not feasible or appropriate, or carried too much risk.

As the out of service date for HMS Illustrious approaches, the MOD will look to industry to provide viable proposals to keep her available for future private use in a different capacity while still offering taxpayers good value for money.
 

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Boovis

    Bulwark, Ocean and Albion can still provide a good amount of cover for most operations which should protect UK interests in most circumstances. I think the absence of an aircraft carrier has been analysed in a bit too panicky a fashion. Most anti air and sea ships can deal with a basic threat from a reasonable distance and as long as the aggressors aren't anyone major like russia, china or any decent sized forces like that, I'm not sure the threat is as big as people fear. Mind you, we said that in the 1930's...

    Sep 12th, 2012 - 05:08 am 0
  • Santa Fe

    And we still have Lusty & Ocean plus RFA Argus which is pretty useful for carrying helos.
    Not long to wait for our 2 new supercarriers RGs :)

    Sep 12th, 2012 - 06:59 am 0
  • Boovis

    If I'm still living abroad when the new ships are due to launch I might even consider flying home to see it, it should be pretty amazing :)

    Sep 12th, 2012 - 08:50 am 0
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