Written-off British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal was sold for scrap to a Turkish company for GBP 2.9 mln in order to recharge defense budget, reported British defense ministry.
Aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal was decommissioned in 2011 under the British military reformation program. The ship was written off five years ahead of plans; that made possible to save up to GBP 105 mln. Since decommission, the carrier stayed at Portsmouth naval station.
Lead aircraft carrier of the series, HMS Invincible (R05) was built in 1980 by Vickers Shipbuilding in Barrow-in-Furness. Invincible-class aircraft carriers HMS Illustrious (R06) and HMS Ark Royal (R07) were built by Swan Hunter and commissioned into the Royal British Navy in 1982 and 1985 respectively.
HMS Ark Royal is 209-meter long, 36-meter wide, and displaces 20,600 tons. Flight deck dimensions: length is 167.8 meters, beam is 13.5 meters.
Aircraft carrier HMS Invincible (R05) was decommissioned in 2005 and sold for scrap to a Turkish company in 2012. HMS Ark Royal was put up for sale on defense ministry's website edisposals.com and sold to the same Turkish company. After preparations, the ship will be sent to Turkey for dismantling.
British defense ministry plans to appropriate received funds for arms procurement.
The last aircraft carrier in the series, HMS Illustrious is to be decommissioned in 2014. British defense ministry looks for an organization interested in turning the ship into a museum.
In order to replace written-off aircraft carriers with new ones, British military in 2008 tied basic contracts for two new Queen Elizabeth-class and Prince of Wales-class 65,000-ton aircraft carriers with BVT Surface Fleet which is a joint venture of BAE Systems, VT Group, and Aircraft Carrier Alliance. It is planned to commission the lead ship in 2017.