Ministry of Defence statement: 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.
– Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology
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 Ark Royal, built at the old Swan Hunters shipyard in Wallsend, is to be sold as scrap metal. An announcement in Parliament is expected tomorrow to give full details of the £3m deal for HMS Ark Royal. The Ministry of Defence described the decision as "difficult but necessary".
There have been about 12 bids for the former Royal Navy flagship since she was decommissioned in 2010 as part of the coalition government's cuts to the defence budget.