Ark Royal will be recycled - MOD statement

HMS Ark Royal as she awaits her fate at Portsmouth Naval Base. Credit: PA

Plans to preserve the legacy of the Royal Navy’s Invincible Class aircraft carriers have been outlined by the Ministry of Defence.

Invincible, Illustrious and 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 in 2014 and the MoD is seeking proposals from organisations interested in preserving her as a lasting tribute.

The 31 year old HMS Ark Royal was withdrawn from service last year, following the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The MoD can announce today that she will also be recycled as part of a £2.9 million deal with Leyal, the same company responsible for recycling Invincible in 2011.

Work will be carried out over the winter to enable her to travel from Portsmouth to Turkey, where she will be recycled.

Philip Dunne, of the MOD, said: “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 £100 million."

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Ark Royal 'to be scrapped'

The former navy flagship, HMS Ark Royal, is to be sold as scrap metal