24 April 2016

Forces TV A deal to sell HMS Illustrious to the Government of Gibraltar has fallen through.

Deal To Sell HMS Illustrious To Gibraltar Falters

  • A deal to sell HMS Illustrious to the Government of Gibraltar has fallen through.
  • The British Overseas Territory wanted to buy the aircraft carrier and turn it into a 'maritime attraction'.
  • A spokesman for the Gibraltar Government told Forces TV.

"HM Government of Gibraltar gave serious consideration to the idea of bringing ex-HMS Illustrious to Gibraltar but, sadly, the costs of maintaining the ship proved to be prohibitive."

HMS Illustrious has been alongside at HMNB Portsmouth since being decommissioned in August 2014.

The 22,000 tonne aircraft carrier was rushed into service three months ahead of schedule in 1982 for the Falklands War. It also served in the Gulf, the Bosnian War, and aided the Philippines after Typhoon Hayain.

One of the former commanders of the ship known as 'Lusty' said he would rather see her scrapped than rusting in port. Vice Admiral Bob Cooling told the Portsmouth News.

"Unless Lusty’s future is adequately funded to preserve her appearance and dignity as the UK’s longest-ever serving aircraft carrier then it would be better that she is scrapped rather than risk her becoming a national embarrassment."

The two other Invincible-class carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Invincible have already been scrapped.

An MoD spokesman told the Portsmouth News that a plan that could see the ship continue its life at sea was under consideration but did not offer more details. They also added that the Disposal Services Authority was not talking to ship recycling companies.

Source: forces tv. 11 April 2016

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