HMS Ark Royal (R07)

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Career
Ordered:
Laid down:7 December 1978
Launched:20 June 1981
Commissioned:1 November 1985
Fate:in service
General Characteristics
Displacement:20,600 tons
Length:210 metres
Beam:36 metres
Draught:7.5 metres
Propulsion:four Rolls-Royce Olympus TM3B gas turbines
Speed:28+ knots
Range:5000 miles at 18 knots
Complement:685 crew, 366 Fleet Air Arm
Aircraft:Sea Harrier fighter/bomber "jump jets", Sea King helicopters
Motto:Zeal Does Not Rest

HMS Ark Royal (R07), the last Invincible-class aircraft carrier, is the fifth ship of the Royal Navy named in honor of the flagship of the English fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada. Her keel was laid by Swan Hunter at Wallsend on 7 December 1978. She was launched on 20 June 1981 sponsored by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and commissioned on 1 November 1985. Her name was expected to be Indomitable to be compatible with her sister ships (HMS Invincible and HMS Illustrious), but the Royal Navy revived the tradition of always having an Ark Royal.

In May 1999 Ark Royal put into Rosyth for refitting, including the removal of the Sea Dart missiles and the replacement of the Phalanx CIWS with Goalkeeper CIWS. She recommissioned in 2001.

Ark Royal took part in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Ark Royal is expected to remain in service until 2015.


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