HMS Ark Royal


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Profile Chris SProject donor
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Message 1182458 - Posted: 2 Jan 2012, 20:02:05 UTC

I am thoroughly disgusted at the latest proposals to sink the Ark Royal as a tourist diving attraction.

Ark Royal

Originally due to be retired in 2016, Ark Royal was instead decommissioned on Friday 11 March 2011, as part of the Navy restructuring portion of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.[


That wasn't a review, it was simply a government cost cutting exercise, and those responsible will have a stain upon their character for a very long time ahead. That ship deserves a better fate, and I have already written to PM Cameron upon that very subject.

Many others will be making a stand ....

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Message 1182514 - Posted: 3 Jan 2012, 1:11:40 UTC
Last modified: 3 Jan 2012, 1:21:25 UTC

I fully agree. The best thing that could happen to it would be for some veterans to get together and turn it into static display in some port. We have turned a number of ships from several wars into display ships from destroyer and aircraft carriers to liberty ships. The additional advantage is a land based display will draw far tourist dollars than one under water. We even have your Queen Marry and have done much the same with it.
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Message 1182517 - Posted: 3 Jan 2012, 1:22:21 UTC - in response to Message 1182514.
Last modified: 3 Jan 2012, 1:24:09 UTC

I fully agree. The best thing that could happen to it would be for some veterans to get together and turn it into a WW II static display in some port. We have turned a number of ships from several wars into display ships from destroyer and aircraft carriers to liberty ships. The additional advantage is a land based display will draw far tourist dollars than one under water. We even have your Queen Marry and have done much the same with it.


Except that the Ark Royal isn't a WW II ship. It was launched in 1981, and is still a modern carrier.

HMS Ark Royal
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Message 1182523 - Posted: 3 Jan 2012, 2:21:07 UTC - in response to Message 1182517.

modern in the sense that it can launch harrier jump jets. Its pretty small compared to other modern aircraft carriers. IIRC the brits are moving to a newer generation of fighter is in the works or is currently being employed which makes this carrier useless for the British Navy. It is sad to see such a nice ship going to waste but a Modern ACC is needed for the newer planes
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Message 1182528 - Posted: 3 Jan 2012, 3:03:49 UTC - in response to Message 1182517.

I fully agree. The best thing that could happen to it would be for some veterans to get together and turn it into a WW II static display in some port. We have turned a number of ships from several wars into display ships from destroyer and aircraft carriers to liberty ships. The additional advantage is a land based display will draw far tourist dollars than one under water. We even have your Queen Marry and have done much the same with it.


Except that the Ark Royal isn't a WW II ship. It was launched in 1981, and is still a modern carrier.

HMS Ark Royal

I edited before you posted. What I had in mind was something like this and this .
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Message 1182532 - Posted: 3 Jan 2012, 3:53:04 UTC

I understand the displeasure with the proposed fate of the Ark Royal. The USS Forrestal CV59 was the first "super" carrier and generally the pattern for all of the US oil powered carriers to follow. My father was a member of the first crew to take her to sea and my older brother was a member of the airgroup that deployed with her in the 1980s. For several years they have been trying to find a port city that would give her a home as a museum. Baltimore came close but eventually backed out of the picture. Now it looks as if she will either be sunk as a reef or scrapped. The are so many ships that served their country with distinction and there just isn't room to save very many of them.
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Message 1182584 - Posted: 3 Jan 2012, 12:20:22 UTC

The are so many ships that served their country with distinction and there just isn't room to save very many of them.


This is sadly true Bob. But we made a big mistake as a country flogging off the QEII, and it looks like we've done it again. The various Ark Royals are very special to the British people, which is something the bean counters at the Ministry of Defence just don't get. Scrapping the Ark Royal and the Harriers was just about the most boneheaded decision the MOD has ever made. They spend millions of pounds on computer equipment that doesn't work, then scrap one of the worlds most fantastic aircraft.

Originally the first of the two new carriers being built, was going to be completed in 2018, then the second to be completed in 2020 then mothballed, without being fitted out. However due to widespread criticism of the plans, the latest news is that the Queen Elizabeth (RO8) will now enter service in 2016, and the Prince of Wales (RO9) in 2018. And it may yet be that one will be renamed the Ark Royal :-)

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Queen Elizabeth

But in the meantime we have to rely on the French to fly planes at sea ....... (don't even get me started on that one ....)

Whatever, the old Ark Royal deserves a better fate than being just sunk.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson stated on 1 December 2010 that:

All options are being considered in terms of what happens to the Ark Royal after it is decommissioned. We might also look at scrapping it, selling it or recycling it.

Other options being explored are to moor her as a hotel, casino, museum ship or visitor attraction at the Royal Docks in east London or at Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire, along the lines of USS Intrepid or HMS Belfast. The annual cost of running the ship as a museum has been estimated at £1 million. Another option being explored is to moor her as a floating helipad in London's Royal Albert Dock, though it is against the London Plan to create new helipads in London. There is also the possibility of scuttling Ark Royal off the Devonshire coast as an artificial reef.


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Message 1182618 - Posted: 3 Jan 2012, 15:34:32 UTC

Unfortunately, the decimation of the Royal Navy's capability has been going on for many decades, starting with that sop for a Secretary for Defence John Nott, back in 1980. He nearly left us with no Falklands capability.

As to the fate of the Ark Royal ... I agree with Chris.
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Message 1182878 - Posted: 4 Jan 2012, 23:51:33 UTC - in response to Message 1182618.

I agree with you on this. Regarding the Falklands, if significant oil is found off the Falklands (there is test drilling going on now), I fear the Falklands might well (notwithstanding the inclination of the long time residents of the islands) become the Malvinas as the British lack the capability to resist a combination of South American countries.

Unfortunately, the decimation of the Royal Navy's capability has been going on for many decades, starting with that sop for a Secretary for Defence John Nott, back in 1980. He nearly left us with no Falklands capability.

As to the fate of the Ark Royal ... I agree with Chris.

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Message 1183215 - Posted: 6 Jan 2012, 14:45:46 UTC

It's Ok your Majesty, panic over. And yet ANOTHER fine ship that should never have been retired. It was famously reported that the Queen shed real tears on the decommissioning day in 1997.

Another reason why I hate Tony Blairs guts .....

I think we still have a Royal Train, although I wouldn't give much for its future if Labour get in again.

Royal Yacht

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Message 1183239 - Posted: 6 Jan 2012, 16:24:54 UTC - in response to Message 1183215.

Right, you must be thrilled that the Conservatives are in power -- that means no budget cuts for defense -- oh wait.

There are reasons to not like Blair, after all, he was the PM and often enough, PM's get hated by one faction or another.




Another reason why I hate Tony Blairs guts .....

I think we still have a Royal Train, although I wouldn't give much for its future if Labour get in again.

Royal Yacht

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Message 1183241 - Posted: 6 Jan 2012, 16:32:37 UTC - in response to Message 1183215.

Yep! Typical Labour Govenrment.

Not long after the end of this series....

HMS Ark Royal & Sailing

HMS Ark Royal was decommissioned & rather than let it be scrapped A local rich scrap dealer put in a bid for it so that he can turn it into a floating muesum....

GUESS WHAT?

He was denied......

I just wonder why as he would have covered all the costs with no government intervention.....
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Message 1183245 - Posted: 6 Jan 2012, 17:46:32 UTC

There are reasons to not like Blair, after all, he was the PM and often enough, PM's get hated by one faction or another.


10 years of Blair and "New Labour" brought this country to it's knees. Now he's off swanning around the world earning millions on the backs of the British people. Something no previous PM has done. Also PM's wives knew their place and didn't embarrass their husbands while in office, unlike his one.

But we digress here, this thread is about the proposed fate of the Ark Royal, and it seemed reasonable to add in a bit about another famous ship that shouldn't have been de-commissioned either. We'll leave Blair bashing until another time.

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Message 1183251 - Posted: 6 Jan 2012, 18:37:32 UTC - in response to Message 1183245.

Fair enough indeed. After all, the decommissioning of the Ark Royal has occurred under another's watch.

As a note, from one American's perspective, it seems that Europe does have some minor funding issues including defense (eg Ark Royal) -- I'd note the rest of Europe is somewhat more pronounced in its rejection of the military than the UK.

Over the coming decade, I expect the US will reduce it's European military investment significantly -- that should thrill folks on the other side of the pond.




But we digress here, this thread is about the proposed fate of the Ark Royal, and it seemed reasonable to add in a bit about another famous ship that shouldn't have been de-commissioned either. We'll leave Blair bashing until another time.


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Message 1183266 - Posted: 6 Jan 2012, 19:53:54 UTC

If a kindly mod could delete the double post it would be appreciated.

@BarryAZ - I'll start a new thread based upon your comments.

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Message 1183271 - Posted: 6 Jan 2012, 20:20:44 UTC

Hmmn...very interesting....it'll be even more interesting if they win the bid......

Ark Royal bid causing concern
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Message 1183960 - Posted: 9 Jan 2012, 5:17:39 UTC - in response to Message 1183245.

There are reasons to not like Blair, after all, he was the PM and often enough, PM's get hated by one faction or another.


10 years of Blair and "New Labour" brought this country to it's knees. Now he's off swanning around the world earning millions on the backs of the British people. Something no previous PM has done. Also PM's wives knew their place and didn't embarrass their husbands while in office, unlike his one.

But we digress here, this thread is about the proposed fate of the Ark Royal, and it seemed reasonable to add in a bit about another famous ship that shouldn't have been de-commissioned either. We'll leave Blair bashing until another time.



Apologies for adding the the digression, but Chris let's get real. Something no previous PM has done? Right. And where is the place of a PM's wife? How did Cherie embarrass Tony?

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Message 1183989 - Posted: 9 Jan 2012, 10:41:31 UTC

I'll PM you about it.

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