UK Illustrious class

Aircraft Carrier


    Derivatives / Succeeded by
UK Implacable class 1944


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23200light (tn)
28900full load (tn)
228length (m)
29.20beam (m)
8.80draught (m)
11000range (nm)
30.50max speed (knots)
3Naval Engine steam turbines
1Naval Radar air direction radar Type 984


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    Typical Max
UK Royal Navy Westland dragonfly 10
UK Royal Navy Westland Wessex 80

The Max option implies only aircraft of this model onboard    


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UK BAE Systems (Vickers) - 1
UK Vickers-Armstrong - High Walker2

List of Ships

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    Sorted by Year Filter:     Hide Transfers     Hide deriv.    
UKRoyal NavyR87HMS IllustriousGGJD - Y19401954
UKRoyal NavyR38HMS VictoriousGGLQ - V19411968
UKRoyal NavyR92HMS IndomitableGBZQ - A1941--
UKRoyal NavyR10Implacable class HMS IndefatigableGCQG19441954
UKRoyal NavyR86Implacable class HMS ImplacableGCKF19441954

5 units


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1937-jan-13OrderedUK R38 HMS Victorious
1937-jan-13OrderedUK R87 HMS Illustrious
1937-apr-27Laid downUK R87 HMS Illustrious Yard no. 732
1937-may-4Laid downUK R38 HMS Victorious Yard No. 11
1937-nov-10Laid downUK R92 HMS Indomitable Yard no. 735
1939-sep-5LaunchedUK R87 HMS Illustrious
1939-sep-14LaunchedUK R38 HMS Victorious
1940-mar-26LaunchedUK R92 HMS Indomitable
1940-may-25CommissionedUK R87 HMS Illustrious joined the Fleet in Sep 1940
1940-nov-11DeploymentUK R87 HMS Illustrious launched Swordfish of 815 and 819 NAS in the torpedo attack on the Italian Fleet at Taranto, aka Operation Judgement.
1941-may-15CommissionedUK R38 HMS Victorious
1941-oct-10CommissionedUK R92 HMS Indomitable
1943-sep-27RefitUK R38 HMS Victorious at Liverpool Gladstone Dock, until c Feb 1944
1945UK R38 HMS Victorious deck letter P, then S.
1945-jun-27RefitUK R87 HMS Illustrious in UK, until Jun 1946
1946UK R38 HMS Victorious deck letter changed to G, until 1958
1947RefitUK R92 HMS Indomitable until 1950
1950-oct-23RefitUK R38 HMS Victorious air direction radar Type 984 until Dec 1957, major refit and modernisation to include an 8.75° angled flight deck, new radars and lengthened to 240m, two larger centreline lifts and first British carrier to be fitted with Jet Blast Deflectors (JBD), recommissioning on 14 Jan 1958
1951-jan-12AircraftUK R92 HMS Indomitable first Dragonfly to deploy as SAR Flight, HR.1 VZ965.
1951-aprAircraftUK R92 HMS Indomitable Dragonfly HR.1 VZ963 assigned as SAR Flt
1953-feb-3UK R92 HMS Indomitable damaged in hangar fire
1953-apr-24AircraftUK R87 HMS Illustrious assigned Dragonfly HR.3 WH991 as SAR flt. Damaged 1 May and returned to Westland for repair.
1953-mayAircraftUK R87 HMS Illustrious assigned Dragonfly HR.3 WN499 as SAR flt.
1953-jun-15DeploymentUK R92 HMS Indomitable Fleet Review: Coronation Review of the Fleet as part of the Home Fleet
1953-jun-15DeploymentUK R87 HMS Illustrious Fleet Review: Coronation Review of the Fleet as part of the Home Fleet - Plymouth
1953-julAircraftUK R92 HMS Indomitable assigned Dragonfly HR.3 WN500 as SAR Flt by Jul 1953
1954-decDecommissionedUK R87 HMS Illustrious
1955Fate: scrappedUK R92 HMS Indomitable
1956-nov-3Fate: scrappedUK R87 HMS Illustrious to Faslane, for scrapping
1957-novAircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious until Jul 1958, 701 Squadron C Flight Dragonfly HR.3 embarked
1958-feb-5AircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious Landing accident to 701 Sq C Flt Whirlwind XJ399, severed tail boom.
1958-jun-27Port VisitUK R38 HMS Victorious To Le Havre
1958-augAircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious until Feb 1959, Whirlwind HAS.7 of 824 Squadron allocated and embarked on 24 Sep alongside at Portsmouth. Deck letter now V
1958-sep-24AircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious Whirlwind HAS.7 of 824 NAS embarked, whilst alongside in HMNB Portsmouth
1958-sep-27AircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious 824 NAS Whirlwind HAS.7 XL848 /336-V ditched off Portland
1958-octAircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious while Whirlwind HAS.7 engine problems being were rectified, temporarily took on 2 Whirlwind HAR.3 from 848 NAS at Hal Far, as plane guards.
1958-nov-6AircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious Whirlwind HAS.7 XL838/332-V /P of 824 NAS lost off Malta.
1959-febAircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious 824 NAS Whirlwind HAS.7 grounded again and were transferred in late Feb to HMS Eagle in the Mediterranean, to return to the UK for further rectification
1959-marRefitUK R38 HMS Victorious Enhanced maintenance period for 2 months at HMD Portsmouth.
1959-aprAircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious assigned Dragonfly HR.5 WP495/967-V as SAR Flt, until c Dec 1959
1959-junDeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious to US east coast for exercises with USN Jul-Aug 1959.
1960-marRefitUK R38 HMS Victorious until Aug 1960, at HMD Portsmouth
1960-augAircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious until Apr 1961, Whirlwind HAS.7 of 825 Squadron assigned and embarked at least 7 airframes on 18 Sep.
1960-oct-18DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious departed HMNB Portsmouth and embarking 825 NAS Whirlwind HAS.7s, for 2 month Mediterranean work up, returning 19 Dec 1960
1960-nov-4Port VisitUK R38 HMS Victorious to Grand Harbour, Malta until 15 Nov
1960-nov-25Port VisitUK R38 HMS Victorious anchored in Bay of Naples, for visit. Departed 29 Nov.
1960-nov-30DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious joint US-UK exercise in Western Mediterranean, including HMS Ark Royal, HMS Hermes, USS Independence, USS Intrepid and USS Saratoga.
1960-dec-3DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious exercising in Mediterranean with HMS Ark Royal and HMS Hermes
1961-jan-20DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious departed HMNB Portsmouth for 11 month Far East deployment, returning 19 Dec 1961
1961-feb-1DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious departed Gibraltar for Cape Town, in company with HMS Blackpool (F77) and RFA Tidereach (A96)
1961-marDeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious relieved HMS Hermes of Far East duty, towards end of the month
1961-may-8AircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious disembarked 825 NAS to Sembawang, and subsequently transferred to HMS Bulwark.
1961-may-9RefitUK R38 HMS Victorious Short refit at Singapore, until mid Jun 1961
1961-jun-26DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious departed Singapore for Hong Kong. Diverted en route for Persian Gulf.
1961-jul-9DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious Operation Vantage Ordered off Kuwait from Far East duty on 29 Jun to join HMS Bulwark during a period of international tension and arrived 9 Jul. Relieved by HMS Centaur on 31 Jul.
1961-sep-2DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious departed Aden for Singapore, in company with HMS Yarmouth, RFA Olna (A216) and RFA Reliant, arriving 15 Sep
1961-nov-22DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious Mombasa Flood Relief Operations Assigned to assist in Kenyan flood relief
1961-decAircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious during Dec 1961 Wessex HAS.1 of 815 Squadron embarked
1962-feb-5DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious departed HMNB Portsmouth for 2 month South Western Approaches and Mediterranean deployment, returning 2 Apr
1962-aprRefitUK R38 HMS Victorious in HMD Portsmouth for flight deck strengthening and projector landing sight installation, until c May 1963
1963-julAircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious until Aug 1963, Wessex HAS.1 of 819 Squadron embarked
1963-augAircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious until Jun 1967 Wessex HAS.1 of 814 Squadron embarked
1963-aug-14DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious departed HMNB Portsmouth for 10 month Indian Ocean and Far East deployment, relieving HMS Hermes en route, completing at Singapore on 12 Jun 1964.
1963-sep-10AircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious Embarked 814 NAS lost Wessex HAS.1 XM925/347-V when it ditched in the Gulf of Aden.
1964-jan-29DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious East African Mutinies with 814 NAS embarked, relieved HMS Centaur off Dar es Salaam.
1964-mayPort VisitUK R38 HMS Victorious port visit as prelude to exercising with USS Kitty Hawk.
1964-junRefitUK R38 HMS Victorious refit at King George VI Dock, Singapore until c Aug.
1964-augDeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious departed Singapore for Far East deployment, returning HMNB Portsmouth summer 1965
1965-mar-15DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious Exercise FOTEX 65 Exercising off Singapore in multi-national Naval Force
1965-octRefitUK R38 HMS Victorious at HMNB Portsmouth, until spring 1966
1966-jul-8DeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious After re-commissioning on 7 Apr and work up, HMS Victorious sailed from HMNB Portsmouth to relieve HMS Eagle as East of Suez Carrier. Wessex of 814 NAS embarked. Arrived Singapore 8 Aug 1966 and eventually departed to UK 4 May 1967, being relieved by HMS Hermes, for Victorious to return to Portsmouth on 20 Jun 1967.
1966-sep-23Port VisitUK R38 HMS Victorious Visit to Hong Kong until 4 Oct during East of Suez carrier deployment
1966-oct-7AircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious Embarked 814 NAS lost Wessex HAS.1 XM928/277-V in the sea off the Philippines.
1966-oct-29Port VisitUK R38 HMS Victorious Visit to Sydney, Australia until 11 Nov during East of Suez carrier deployment
1967-feb-21AircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious 814 NAS Wessex HAS.1 XP159/270-V damaged near Kuala Lumpur during landing in a clearing.
1967-mayDeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious passage from Far East to Aden in support of Civil Power.
1967-junDeploymentUK R38 HMS Victorious assigned to Western Task Force off Cyprus, guarding interests during Middle East Six Day War
1967-jun-19AircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious 814 Sq disembarked its Wessex HAS.1, prior to re-equipping with Wessex HAS.3
1967-octAircraftUK R38 HMS Victorious assigned Wessex HAS.1 XM326 / 266-V as Victorious SAR Flt until c Mar 1968
1968-mar-13DecommissionedUK R38 HMS Victorious
1969-julFate: scrappedUK R38 HMS Victorious scrapped at Faslane

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