You might not recognise her... but this is HMS Illustrious with an imaginative makeover.
Her masts and funnels have been replaced with three sleek ‘sails’ in this artist’s impression of how the Portsmouth-based ship could look in the future.
The graphic has been put together by Southampton design firm BMT Nigel Gee, in partnership with Sigmund Yacht Design.
It comes as the Ministry of Defence is looking for ideas on how to preserve the carrier when she is decommissioned from service later this year.
Peter Symonds, the owner of Sigmund Yacht Design, said: ‘Our design is a brave interpretation of such a distinguished vessel, stating boldly its new purpose, while paying respect to its impressive heritage.
‘The design concept provides an opportunity to extend the life of the vessel into the foreseeable future with innovation, creativity and an eye for detail.’
The firm says the inspiration for the three forms on the flight deck come from the sails of clipper ships .
James Roy, the yacht design director at BMT Nigel Gee, said: ‘In recognising the importance of preserving such an iconic vessel, we came up with the idea of a “Commonwealth Yacht”, where Illustrious could serve all nations of the Commonwealth as a vehicle for promoting trade, attending international events, and undertaking humanitarian and disaster relief work around the globe.’
As reported in The News, a group of Portsmouth-based businesses have put together their own bid to buy HMS Illustrious and turn her into a floating conference centre.
It would include a heritage museum, art spaces, galleries, places to eat, a hotel, and a world-class conference facility.
The city of Hull has also now registered a formal interest in having the ship moored there as a tourist attraction.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: ‘All interested parties needed to complete an industry day application form and return it to the Disposal Services Authority (DSA) by December 10.
‘For commercial reasons we cannot discuss individual applications received by the DSA.
‘A number of applications have been received and these are being assessed.’