May 7, 2011

Ever been interested in acquiring an aircraft carrier?

This proud ship that you can see to your left is the H.M.S. Ark Royal, former flagship of the British Royal Navy.

Do you want to know it a little better? According to its Wikipedia entry, she is the fifth Royal Navy ship to have borne the name of the 1587 flagship that defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. Originally intended to be named Indomitable to match the rest of the class, this was changed due to the public reaction to the loss of the Ark Royal name after the scrapping of the previous Ark Royal in 1980, after 30 years' service.

Slightly larger than her sister ships, and with a steeper ski-jump ramp, Ark Royal carried the STOVL (Short Take Off and Vertical Landing) Harrier Jump Jet aircraft, as well as various helicopters. With a crew complement of over 1,000 sailors and aviators, she saw active service in the 1990s Bosnian War and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

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. After Invincible was decommissioned in 2005, and with the retiring of Illustrious expected in 2014, Royal Navy aircraft carrier usage will continue with at least one ship of the under-construction Queen Elizabeth class. After Ark Royal's decommissioning HMS Albion replaced her as the Royal Navy flagship.

Well, now that you know a little more about it, how would you like to own it? Yes, own it. The British military is selling it after having decommissioned it. Don't you believe it? Just visit the Ministry of Defence's auction website and learn about how to bid for it at the auction that there's going to take place. Bidders have until 10am on June 13 to put their tenders forward for the ship. No minimum price is given.

Or... if you are just not into aircraft carriers you might be interested in taking a look at something quite different. Something like these three Type-42 destroyers, HMS Exeter, HMS Southampton and HMS Nottingham. I can already think of a million things that I would do with one of these babies. 

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