The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that HMS Ark Royal has been sold as scrap.
The scrapping of the former Royal Navy flagship, decommissioned in 2010, has come five years ahead of schedule in a move described by the MOD as “difficult but necessary”.
Preparatory work will be carried out on HMS Ark Royal over the winter to enable her to travel from Portsmouth to Turkey, where she will be recycled.
Although bids were received for further use for the HMS Ark Royal, they were ultimately judged either not feasible or inappropriate, or else carried too much risk.
Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology said: “HMS Ark Royal, like her sister ships, served this country with great distinction. Retiring her five years earlier than planned was a difficult decision but it was the right one that, combined with her sale, has saved over a hundred million pounds. That has helped the MOD achieve a sustainable and balanced budget for the first time in decades.”