16 Oct 2013

Defence contractors sought for ideas on how to preserve HMS Illustrious

Summary: The MOD is looking for ideas on how best to preserve the legacy of the Royal Navy’s Invincible Class aircraft carriers.

The last of this class of carriers is due to retire in late 2014 after 32 years of distinguished service that has seen her involved in operations around the world.

Defence contractor opportunities

Following the announcement last year that the 22,000-tonne Royal Navy ship will be preserved in some form, MOD is now inviting defence contractors and other private companies interested in buying her to come forward with ideas for her future use.

The ship was involved in the First Gulf War and the conflict in Afghanistan in 2001. She also supported evacuations from Sierra Leone in 2000 and Lebanon in 2006.

MOD wants HMS Illustrious to remain in the UK and bids for her future use must be viable and include plans for part or all of the ship to be developed for heritage purposes. It could mean important opportunities forcontractors looking for links into the defence supply chain.

Royal navy heritage project

The MOD is looking to preserve the heritage of Royal Navy ships. The Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said:

“HMS Illustrious, like her two sister ships Invincible and Ark Royal, has provided an invaluable service to this country over more than three decades. This competition will provide the opportunity for organisations to put forward innovative and viable proposals to honour the role and history of this iconic class of ship and all those who served on board them.”

Once proposals are received, an industry day will be held next year to discuss the ideas further. It is expected that a final decision will be made after the ship is decommissioned.