Aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. The Royal Navy will return to the helm of one of the UK's key weapons in the war on terror Tuesday July 27, 2004. Giant aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious will be handed back to the Royal Navy for the final stage of its £120 million refit. A 550-strong crew will board the ship at Rosyth Dockyard today in preparation for the vessel's return to the seas next year. See PA story DEFENCE Illustrious. PA photo.
Aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. The Royal Navy will return to the helm of one of the UK's key weapons in the war on terror Tuesday July 27, 2004. Giant aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious will be handed back to the Royal Navy for the final stage of its £120 million refit. A 550-strong crew will board the ship at Rosyth Dockyard today in preparation for the vessel's return to the seas next year. See PA story DEFENCE Illustrious. PA photo.

20 photos of Royal Navy's former flagship HMS Illustrious through the years

We thought you’d like a look back into the News archives. Enjoy this wonderful gallery of a special and very popular Portsmouth based ship.

By Deborah Croker
Thursday, 14th January 2021, 5:59 pm

Perhaps you have great memories of ‘Lusty’ as she was affectionately known? Maybe you served on her or were involved in the Falklands War? Did you have family on board?

Royal Navy HMS Illustrious was a light aircraft carrier and an Invincible-class ship that was launched on the 14th December 1978.

She would carry up to 22 helicopters. She saw 32 years' service and was formally decommissioned on 28 August 2014.

It was a sad end to a magnificent ship, she left Portsmouth under tow bound for Turkey on 7 December 2016 to be scrapped in Turkey.

She arrived at the LEYAL Ship Recycling Group’s yard, after being sold by the government for about £2m at the time.

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