HMS Ark Royal to be sold for scrap

The new commanding officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Rob Vitali. Picture: Keith Woodland/MoD

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PORTSMOUTH-based HMS Ark Royal is expected to be sold for scrap after proposals to preserve the aircraft carrier were thrown out.

In plans expected to be announced by parliament tomorrow, the Ministry of Defence is set to sell the decommissioned ship to a scrap metal and recycling firm for £3m.

Defence officials have concluded that the Royal Navy’s former flag ship is impossible to save due to its poor condition, according to The Sunday Times.

Proposals to save the ship, which is moored at Portsmouth Naval Base, included turning it into a commercial heliport in London, a nightclub and school in China, and a casino in Hong Kong.

The MoD decided to decommission the ship as part of the government’s 2010 defence cuts.

The 20,000-tonne light aircraft carrier was deployed to the Bosnian and Iraq conflicts, and its sister ship, HMS Invincible, was sold for scrap metal to Turkish-based firm Leyal Ship Recycling for an estimated £2m.