The British Ministry of Defence has decommissioned an aircraft carrier and put it up for sale.
The Invincible-class HMS Illustrious is currently moored in Portsmouth Harbor. It was in service for 32 years and served in Bosnia and the Gulf. The Disposal Services Authority (DSA) has placed the 22,000-ton ship for sale, for recycling only. The sale may be discontinued if a heritage option becomes available.
Interested buyers must place their bids by May 23rd. Viewings will be held in June.
All parties interested in acquiring the vessel should note that a Bank Guarantee of £2 Million will be required by the DSA and will not be released until the recycling of the vessel is nearing completion.
HMS Illustrious was a light aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy and the second of three Invincible-class ships constructed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was the fifth warship and second aircraft carrier to bear the name Illustrious, and was affectionately known to her crew as “Lusty”.
In 1982, the conflict in the Falklands necessitated that Illustrious be completed and rushed south to join her sister ship HMS Invincible and the veteran carrier HMS Hermes. To this end, she was brought forward by three months for completion at Swan Hunter Shipyard, then commissioned on June 20th 1982 at sea en-route to Portsmouth Dockyard to take on board extra stores and crew.
She arrived in the Falklands to relieve Invincible on August 28th 1982 in a steam past. Returning to the United Kingdom, she was not formally commissioned into the fleet until March 20th 1983. After the Falklands War, she was deployed on Operation Southern Watch in Iraq, then Operation Deny Flight in Bosnia during the 1990’s and Operation Palliser in Sierra Leone in 2000. An extensive re-fit during 2002 prevented her from involvement in the 2003 Iraq War, but she was repaired in time to assist British citizens trapped by the 2006 Lebanon War.
Following the retirement of her fixed-wing British Aerospace Harrier II aircraft in 2010, Illustrious operated as one of two Royal Navy helicopter carriers. By 2014, she was the oldest ship in the Royal Navy’s active fleet (having 32 years of service) and will not be replaced until HMS Queen Elizabeth is commissioned in 2017.
All interested parties must e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and deslcsls-DSA-Commercial@mod.uk no later than 17.00hrs (GMT) Monday 23 May 2016.