R09 HMS Ark Royal

Royal Navy

1955 to 1978    

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Audacious class
CV - Aircraft Carrier

Flight Deck: R
Call Sign: GKXS
See Also: CVS Invincible class R07

HMS Ark Royal R09

romft R09

Events R09 HMS Ark Royal Help Us    

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1943-may-3Laid downas HMS Irresistible
1950-mar-3LaunchedCammell Laird Birkenhead as HMS Ark Royal
1955-feb-26CommissionedDeck id O until 1957, then R
1956-apr-30Refitat HMD Devonport to remove port-forward 4.5" gun interfering with aviation operations, until Nov 1956
1957-febRefitRepairs repairs to steam turbines at HMD Devonport, until mid-May
1957-jun-8Port VisitHampton Roads International Fleet Review, Virginia 1957 Visited Virginia, USA for the International Naval Review
1958-janAircraftuntil Sep 1958, Dragonfly HR.5 of 701 NAS B Flight embarked
1958-junAircraft6 Whilrwind HAS.7 of 820 NAS embarked for Mediterranean operations until Aug 1958
1958-jul-21RefitScimitar upgrade refit air search radar Type 965 Refit at HMD Devonport, removed deck edge lift, added Type 965 radar (replacing Type 293). Fire broke out 9 Apr 1959 during the refit, delaying completion to 28 Dec 1959.
1959-may-16Port Visitat HMNB Devonport for Navy Days 1959.
1960-mar-4Aircraftuntil Oct 1960, Whirlwind HAS.7 of 820 NAS B Flight embarked
1960-mar-4Aircraftuntil Feb 1961, Whirlwind HAS.7 of 824 NAS embarked
1960-may-18AircraftAccident 824 NAS Whirlwind HAS.7 XK938/335 ditched and sank off Malta. (Replaced on unit strength by XL879 as /335 by Jul).
1960-aug-11AircraftAccident 824 NAS Whirlwind HAS.7 XK910/331 ditched and sank off Malta.
1960-dec-3Deploymentexercising in Mediterranean with HMS Hermes and HMS Victorious
1961-janTrialscold weather trials off Greenland, until early Feb
1961-nov-13Aircraftuntil Dec 1963, Wessex of 815 NAS embarked.
1961-nov-13Deploymentdeparted HMNB Devonport for 3 month Mediterranean work up, returning Jan 1962
1961-dec-16Port VisitGrand Harbour / il-Port il-Kbir / Valletta Grand Harbour to Grand Harbour, Malta, until 5 Jan 1962
1962-jan-16Refitdamaged propellors when ran aground in Plymouth Sound, en route HMD Devonport dry dock for post-workup repairs and refit, until 2 Mar 1962
1962-mar-9Deploymentdeparted HMNB Devonport and embarked Wessex HAS.1 of 815 NAS on 10 Jan, for 4th Commission in Far East, until early Jan 1964
1962-mar-27DeploymentAden Harbour Aden relieved HMS Centaur in Aden as East of Suez carrier
1962-apr-12DeploymentSembawang naval base Singapore arrived on Far East Station at Singapore
1962-jul-21DeploymentPulau Tioman South China Sea Exercise FOTEX 62 departed Singapore for show of force off Pulau Tioman island, before participating in Exercise FOTEX 62
1962-oct-25Deploymentdeparted Singapore for UK via Aden, arrived HMNB Devonport on 16 Dec.
1963-marDeploymentdeparted HMNB Devonport for duty in the Far East. Returned early Jan 1964.
1964-jan-4RefitBuccaneer upgrade refit at HMD Devonport until Nov 1964, fittings for 4x Seacat launchers added and equipped for Buccaneer operations. Fire broke out while circuit testing on 13 Oct, during refit.
1964-novAircraftembarked Wessex HAS.1 of 819 NAS, until c May 1965.
1965-junAircraftuntil Sep 1966, Wessex HAS.1 of 815 NAS embarked
1965-oct-30RefitFire in boiler room while undergoing routine repairs in Singapore, delayed for 3 weeks.
1966-mar-6DeploymentMozambique Channel Beira Patrol Beira Patrol, off Mozambique to enforce UN sanctions against Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
1966-mayDeploymentMozambique Channel Beira Patrol Beira Patrol, off Mozambique to enforce UN sanctions against Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Relieved HMS Eagle.
1966-oct-5RefitPhantom upgrade refit air direction radar Type 982 until Dec 1969, strengthening the flight deck and angling at 8.5 deg, water-cooled Jet Blast Deflectors, perforated cylinder Direct Acting Gear for the arrests, installation of Type 982/3 radars, replacement of the Type 963 radar by the SPN-35 CCA radar, Corvus chaff and fitting the Seacat missile launchers. Re-commissioned on 25 Feb 1970.
1969-jun-12Refitduring refit, fire broke out while in HMD Devonport.
1970-febAircraftuntil Dec 1978, Sea King HAS.2 of 824 NAS embarked
1970-novDeploymentstruck by Russian Kotlin class vessel Bravvy (365) while shadowing HMS Ark Royal during Mediterranean Exercise Lime Jug, off Crete.
1970-dec-18Refituntil 15 Apr 1971 in refit at HMD Devonport, including repairs to holes above waterline from damage by Bravvy in Mediterranean collision.
1971-jun-2Deploymentdeparted HMNB Devonport for 2 month Caribbean and North Atlantic deployment, returning 30 Jul
1971-oct-30Deploymentdeparted from HMNB Portsmouth for a 5 week Mediterranean deployment, returning to HMNB Devonport 7 Dec
1972-jan-20Deploymentdeparted HMNB Devonport for 6 week Caribbean and North Atlantic deployment, returning 9 Mar
1972-jan-26DeploymentBermuda area near Bermuda detached from exercise with US Navy and ordered towards British Honduras. On 26 Jan she launched Buccaneers of 809 NAS at extreme range to overfly the capital to deter Guatemalan ambitions.
1972-novDeploymentparticipated in Exercise Corsica 72 off W coast of Corsica with HMS Bulwark, HMS Fearless and HMS Intrepid.
1974-sep-4AircraftSAR Flt Wessex XS875/047-R crashed on deck while off northern Scotland
1975-sep-17AircraftWessex XP112 accident off Plymouth
1976-feb-5Deploymentdeparted HMNB Devonport on Western Atlantic deployment with 824 NAS Sea Kings embarked, returning on 16 Jul.
1976-mar-1Port VisitRoosevelt Roads 3 day visit to Puerto Rico, departing 3 Mar
1976-octRefitrefit at HMD Devonport, with works on catapults and focus on sub-surface improvements, until Feb 1977
1977-jun-25Deployment Fleet Review: Silver Jubilee of HM The Queen Flag Ship at Silver Jubilee Fleet Review off Ryde Sand
1978-apr-5Deploymentleft HMD Devonport for North Atlantic and Mediterranean, her final deployment, returning 4 Dec 1978
1979-feb-13StruckPaid off
1980-sep-22Fate: scrappedCairnryan, Dumfries Breakers Yard departed HMD Devonport under tow for Cairnryan, scrapped from Oct 1980


    from Audacious class
43000light (tn)
50000full load (tn)
250length (m)
34.40beam (m)
10.50draught (m)
7000range (nm)
29.25max speed (knots)
152000power (shp)
4Naval Engine steam turbines
4Missile Launcher Sea Cat
2Naval Radar air direction radar Type 982
1Naval Radar fire direction radar Type 275
2Naval Radar navigation radar Type 974


    Typical Max
Royal Navy sikorsky s-55 H-19 00
Royal Navy westland whirlwind 00
Royal Navy westland wessex 60
Royal Navy westland sea king 60
Royal Navy westland dragonfly 11

The Max option implies only aircraft of this model onboard    


Cammell Laird,

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