UK Invincible class

Aircraft Carrier V STOL


Aircraft Carrier V STOL Invincible class


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16950light (tn)
20750full load (tn)
210length (m)
36beam (m)
8.80draught (m)
7000range (nm)
28max speed (knots)
4Naval Engine gas turbine - Rolls Royce Olympus
2Naval Engine propulsion system: COGAG
2Naval Gun Oerlikon 20mm Mk.7 cannon
2Naval Gun single 20 mm
3Close-In Weapon System CIWS Phalanx 20 mm
8Chaff and decoys Seagnat
1Naval Radar air search radar Type 1022
2Naval Radar navigation radar Type 1006
1Naval Radar surface and low level air search radar Type 996
1Sonar hull mounted sonar Type 2016


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    Typical Max
UK Royal Navy Westland sea king 012
UK Royal Navy AW eh.101 012

The Max option implies only aircraft of this model onboard    


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UK BAE Systems (Vickers) - 1
UK Swan Hunter - Wallsend2

List of Ships

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UKRoyal NavyR05HMS InvincibleGUCL - N19802005
UKRoyal NavyR06HMS IllustriousGVUN - L19822014
UKRoyal NavyR07HMS Ark RoyalGCDG - R19852011

3 units


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0UK R06 HMS Illustrious
1973-apr-17OrderedUK R05 HMS Invincible
1973-jul-20Laid downUK R05 HMS Invincible
1976-may-14OrderedUK R06 HMS Illustrious
1976-oct-7Laid downUK R06 HMS Illustrious Yard No. 102
1978-dec-14LaunchedUK R06 HMS Illustrious
1978-dec-14Laid downUK R07 HMS Ark Royal as HMS Indomitable, Yard No. 109
1979-mayAircraftUK R05 HMS Invincible During trials in Largs Bay in May 1979, 819 NAS Sea King HAS.2A XV710/310-PW was first aircraft to perform a deck landing.
1979-may-3LaunchedUK R05 HMS Invincible ceremony included a flypast by 3 Sea King HAS.1 from 819 Squadron
1980-mar-6AircraftUK R05 HMS Invincible During trials south of Isle of Wight, two of the embarked 820 NAS Sea Kings (XZ915 and XZ917) collided in mid-air in poor visibility.
1980-may-19TrialsUK R05 HMS Invincible first landing of Sea Harrier on an Invincible class deck
1980-jul-11CommissionedUK R05 HMS Invincible at HMNB Portsmouth
1981-jun-2LaunchedUK R07 HMS Ark Royal as HMS Ark Royal
1982-apr-4DeploymentUK R05 HMS Invincible Operation Corporate Departed HMNB Portsmouth for Falklands Conflict first op deployment with Invincible air group configured for maximum Harrier compliment to carry out air defence of the task force and offensive operations. Returned to Portsmouth on 17 Sep.
1982-jun-20CommissionedUK R06 HMS Illustrious at sea, underway. Formally commissioned on 20 Mar 1983, after her maiden deployment.
1982-aug-2DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious Departed HMNB Portsmouth on her 1st operation, to relieve HMS Invincible on 27 Aug in the South Atlantic, following Operation Corporate.
1982-nov-5Port VisitUK R05 HMS Invincible At Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico until 11 Nov 1982
1982-nov-12Port VisitUK R05 HMS Invincible At Fort Lauderdale, Florida until 19 Nov 1982
1982-nov-22Port VisitUK R05 HMS Invincible At Philadelphia, Pennsylvania until 29 Nov 1982, returning to HMNB Portsmouth by 8 Dec 1982.
1983-sep-1DeploymentUK R05 HMS Invincible departed HMNB Portsmouth for Far East and Australasian deployment, cut short by difficulties with the machinery and the nervousness with which the Australian and Japanese governments viewed offering repair facilities to a ship which might be carrying nuclear weapons
1984-jul-16TrialsUK R06 HMS Illustrious trials for Sea Harrier launched Sea Eagle missile system culminated in sinking of HMS Devonshire as a target.
1984-oct-19TrialsUK R07 HMS Ark Royal left Tyne for 1st time for manufacturer trials
1985-jul-1HomeportUK R07 HMS Ark Royal arrived at HMNB Portsmouth
1985-nov-1CommissionedUK R07 HMS Ark Royal
1986-apr-3RefitUK R06 HMS Illustrious departed HMNB Portsmouth on 2 Apr for GLOBAL 86 deployment. On 3 Apr, coming up to full revolutions, an explosion of gear box oil vapour led to a serious fire. Returned to Portsmouth and repairs to starboard gearbox and forward gearing room lasted until mid Jul.
1986-mayRefitUK R05 HMS Invincible Goalkeeper to HMD Devonport for an extensive refit until Nov 1988 including work on the machinery, reconfiguring the ski jump, an operations room upgrade, new sonar, 3 sets of Goalkeeper CIWS (to replace post-South Atlantic conflict Phalanx) and an increase in the air group capacity. Returned to service in 1989.
1986-jun-17AircraftUK R07 HMS Ark Royal embarked 9 Sea King HAS.5 of 820 NAS, until 5 Nov.
1986-jun-17AircraftUK R07 HMS Ark Royal embarked Sea King AEW.2 of 849 NAS B Flight while alongside at HMNB Portsmouth.
1986-julPort VisitUK R07 HMS Ark Royal visited New York for 4th July celebrations
1986-jul-14AircraftUK R06 HMS Illustrious Sea Kings of 814 NAS HQ Flt embarked for pre-deployment work-up.
1986-jul-21DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious to Far East and Australia for the GLOBAL 86 deployment with 814 NAS HQ Flt and 849 NAS A Flt embarked, returning to Portsmouth on 18 Dec 1986.
1986-aug-18DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious caught up with GLOBAL 86 Task Group at Singapore, after a 4 month delay in Portsmouth
1986-aug-26DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious departed Singapore to meet RFA Olmeda in the South China Sea and recover the 2 Sea Kings of 814 NAS detached to her.
1986-oct-4Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious Fleet Review: 75th anniversary of RAN participated in celebrations for 75th anniversary of Royal Australian Navy at Sydney, during GLOBAL 86 deployment.
1986-nov-5AircraftUK R07 HMS Ark Royal embarked Sea King HC.4 of 845 NAS.
1986-nov-14Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious visited Bombay (Mumbai) during GLOBAL 86 deployment.
1987-jan-12DeploymentUK R07 HMS Ark Royal departed HMNB Portsmouth for 3 month western N Atlantic deployment, returned 9 Apr.
1988-mar-18Port VisitUK R07 HMS Ark Royal 18-22mar88 port visit embarked 801Sqn with 8 Sea Harrier.
820Sqn. and 849Sqn. embarked with Sea King XV649 : XV654 : XV672 : XV697 : XV700 : ZD631
1988-jun-13DeploymentUK R07 HMS Ark Royal sailed from HMNB Portsmouth for Far East, as flagship of the Outback 88 deployment. Arrived Singapore on 23 Jul and after visiting Australia, returned to Portsmouth on 15 Dec.
1988-sep-27Port VisitUK R07 HMS Ark Royal Fleet Review: Australia Bi-centennial Naval Salute to Sydney Harbour for Australian Bi-centennial Fleet Review
1990-apr-18DeploymentUK R07 HMS Ark Royal sailed as flagship of TG 318.1 for western North Atlantic deployment, with HMS Glasgow, HMS Brave and HMS Cumberland, supported by RFA Fort Grange and RFA Olna. The Ark returned to HMNB Portsmouth on 5 Jul.
1990-nov-7TrialsUK R07 HMS Ark Royal departed HMNB Portsmouth for first Sea Harrier FA.2 on Invincible class ship, for 10 days of sea trials, off Lands End. 3 Junglie Sea Kings and Sea King HAS.6 ZA129 /12 embarked with Sea Harriers.
1991-jan-10DeploymentUK R07 HMS Ark Royal Departed HMNB Portsmouth (in company with HMS Charybdis and HMS Sheffield) and embarked 820 Squadron Sea Kings before deploying with TG 323.2 to the eastern Mediterranean for long range surveillance of the Suez Canal and defence of western flank of coalition forces during the Gulf War. Worked with USS Philippine Sea, USS Spruance and USS Virginia in Mediterranean. Returned to Portsmouth in Apr.
1991-sepRefitUK R06 HMS Illustrious Goalkeeper until Sep 1993 at HMD Devonport.
1991-sep-10DeploymentUK R07 HMS Ark Royal departed HMNB Portsmouth for western N Atlantic deployment, including working up Sea King HAS.6 of 820 NAS at the AUTEC Ranges, off Bermuda. Returned to Portsmouth on 18 Nov.
1991-oct-7UK R05 HMS Invincible during the NATO exercise Display Determination 91
1992-may-12DeploymentUK R05 HMS Invincible Orient 92 deployment led Group Deployment to Far East for Orient Express 92, consisting of HMSs Boxer, Newcastle, Norfolk and RFAs Fort Austin and Olwen, returning Nov 1992. Embarked were 7 Sea King HAS.5 of 814 NAS, 2 Sea King HC.4 of 845 NAS and 3 Sea King AEW.2 of 849 NAS.
1993-jan-14DeploymentUK R07 HMS Ark Royal UNPROFOR departed HMNB Portsmouth for Adriatic deployment to assist UNPROFOR, with 3 Sea King HAS.2A of 849 Sq B Flt., 8 Sea King HC.4 of 846 Sq and RFA Argus as aviation support. She was relieved by HMS Invincible in Aug 1993. Returned to HMNB Portsmouth 3 Aug 1993.
1993-junDeploymentUK R07 HMS Ark Royal cross-deck operations with Giuseppe Garibaldi in the Adriatic in late Jun.
1993-jul-22DeploymentUK R05 HMS Invincible UNPROFOR departed HMNB Portsmouth and relieved HMS Ark Royal on station in the Adriatic during Aug, assisting UNPROFOR, until Jan 1994.
1993-nov-17Port VisitUK R05 HMS Invincible Visit Trieste, Italy. Sea king XV703 onboard
1994-jan-28DeploymentUK R07 HMS Ark Royal UNPROFOR departed HMNB Portsmouth and relieved HMS Invincible at Gibraltar on 4 Feb, assisting UNPROFOR in the Adriatic. Relieved by HMS Invincible and returned to Portsmouth on 2 Sep.
1994-mar-31Port VisitUK R07 HMS Ark Royal short mid-deployment maintenance visit to Piraeus until 11 Apr
1994-aug-24DeploymentUK R05 HMS Invincible UNPROFOR departed HMNB Portsmouth with 814 NAS and 849 NAS A Flt embarked, for return to the Adriatic to relieve HMS Ark Royal in Sep. On station until Feb 1995 when relieved by HMS Illustrious.
1994-octUK R07 HMS Ark Royal into reserve at HMNB Portsmouth on 6 months notice to re-activate, until May 1999, when she was towed to Rosyth for refit.
1995-febDeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious UNPROFOR to the Adriatic to relieve HMS Invincible. On station until Jul 1995, when relieved by HMS Invincible.
1995-julDeploymentUK R05 HMS Invincible UNPROFOR returned to the Adriatic with 814 NAS and 849 NAS embarked, to relieve HMS Illustrious. On station until 9 Dec 1995.
1995-decRefitUK R05 HMS Invincible alongside in HMNB Portsmouth for maintenance period after Adriatic deployment, until Mar 1996.
1995-dec-9DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious IFOR (implementation force) relieved HMS Invincible, on station as Flagship of UK Adriatic Task Force supporting IFOR, until Feb 1996 when she returned to the UK.
1996UK R06 HMS Illustrious IFOR (implementation force) in Adriatic sea
1996-augDeploymentUK R05 HMS Invincible departed from HMNB Portsmouth at end Aug 1996 in company with HMS Sheffield, RFA Oakleaf (A111) and RFA Fort Grange for exercises in Mediterranean and Persian Gulf (from Nov) before returning to Portsmouth on 19 Dec.
1997-jan-13DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious departed UK for a Far East deployment
1997-nov-29Port VisitUK R05 HMS Invincible visit to Barcelona, until 4 Dec 1997
1998-jan-9DeploymentUK R05 HMS Invincible departed HMNB Portsmouth for Persian Gulf and Mediterranean deployment, supported by HMS Nottingham, HMS Coventry, RFA Fort Victoria and RFA Bayleaf.
1998-aug-28UK R05 HMS Invincible International Festival of Sea Portsmouth on board Sea King XV664, ZE422
1999RefitUK R05 HMS Invincible refit at HMD Portsmouth for removal of Sea Dart, extension of flight deck and more space for air group and its support equipment; until spring 2000
1999-may-21UK R05 HMS Invincible withdrawn from Kosovo theatre, to be replaced by RFA Argus on 1 Jun.
1999-junRefitUK R07 HMS Ark Royal extensive refit at Rosyth until Mar 2001, including facilities to Operate Merlin and Sea King ASaC.7 and rejoined fleet in summer 2001
1999-sep-28Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious from 28 September to 1 October Amsterdam, Netherlands. on board Sea King from 820Sqn. and 849Sqn. XV649 : XV650 : XV706 : XZ571 : XZ574 : ZA128 : ZA133 : ZD630 : ZD633 : ZE420. Plus 7 Sea Harrier from 801Sqn.
2000-jan-17DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious departed HMNB Portsmouth for a Persian Gulf deployment, returning, after diversions on 14 Jun.
2000-mayDeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious Operation Palliser ordered off Freetown, Sierra Leone to support Operation Palliser.
2001-mar-31UK R05 HMS Invincible into extended readiness at HMNB Portsmouth until Jul 2001
2001-julTrialsUK R07 HMS Ark Royal post refit shake down and work up
2001-julUK R05 HMS Invincible departed HMNB Portsmouth at end of Jul for Rosyth, to prepare for refit
2001-sep-3DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious departed HMNB Portsmouth for Persian Gulf and exercise Saif Sareea II. Remained in area following 9/11 attacks in the US as a contingency but relieved by HMS Ocean in Jan 2002.
2001-decRefitUK R05 HMS Invincible refit at Rosyth, until Mar 2003, including removal of Sea Dart twin launcher.
2002-decRefitUK R06 HMS Illustrious Refit at Babcock Rosyth until Nov 2004 to convert for Merlin operations and remove Sea Dart twin launcher with its Type 909 fire direction radar.
2003-jan-11DeploymentUK R07 HMS Ark Royal Operation Telic to support combat operations in Iraq, completing 17 May 2003
2003-mar-22DeploymentUK R07 HMS Ark Royal Operation Telic while far north in the Persian Gulf supporting the assault on the Al-Faw peninsula, 2 embarked Sea King ASaC.7 from 849 NAS, Red Rat 34 and Red Rat 35 collided with fatal result 5nm from the ship. Recoveries were assisted by divers from USNS Catawba.
2004-mar-17UK R07 HMS Ark Royal entered a period of extended readiness
2004-jul-4Port VisitUK R05 HMS Invincible to New York, NY for Independence Day celebrations
2004-octRefitUK R07 HMS Ark Royal refit at Babcock in Rosyth to add a third mast, upgrade aviation facilities and improve communications, until 29 Sep 2006, rejoining the fleet in Dec 2006
2005-aug-3DecommissionedUK R05 HMS Invincible into low readiness reserve at HMNB Portsmouth
2006-mar-29DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious departed HMNB Portsmouth (814 NAS Merlin and 849 NAS A Flt Sea King embarked), leading the Aquila 06 deployment to the Persian Gulf, escorted by HMS Gloucester and supported by RFA Brambleleaf, RFA Diligence and RFA Fort Victoria. Gloucester and Illustrious were detached and ordered back to Beirut, Lebanon.
2006-julDeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious Operation Highbrow assisted in evacuation of British nationals from Beirut, during Israel-Lebanon war
2006-nov-10Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious moored on the Thames at Greenwich Reach. Eventually departed 15 Nov.
2007-jul-7UK R06 HMS Illustrious USMC Osprey first landing on a non-US ship
2008-feb-8Port VisitUK R07 HMS Ark Royal visited North Shields on Tyneside
2008-feb-26Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious entered Malta, escorted by HMS Edinburgh. Departed 29 Feb.
2008-jul-25Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious At HMNB Portsmouth, 25-27 Jul for Meet Your Navy 2008
2009-may-6Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious visited London for Fly Navy 100 (celebrating 100 years of the Fleet Air Arm), moored at Greenwich Reach on the River Thames. Departed 10 May 2009.
2009-oct-5DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious Exercise Joint Warrior 09-2 participated in Ex JW 09-2, initially on the River Clyde with 815 NAS Lynx HAS.3S(ICE) XZ246/434-EE and 849 NAS Sea King ASaC.7 ZE418/186 embarked
2010-feb-8RefitUK R06 HMS Illustrious after entering Crombie for de-storing, HMS Ilustrious began a 16 month refit at Babcock in Rosyth, departing 20 Jun 2011.
2010-aprAircraftUK R07 HMS Ark Royal Exercise Auriga 2010 Embarked both 815 Squadron 212 Flight Lynx HAS.3ICE, on loan from HMS Endurance until Aug 2010.
2010-jun-28Port VisitUK R07 HMS Ark Royal Fleet Review: 100th anniversary of Canadian Navy visited Halifax for MARLANT Fleet Review
2010-sep-10StruckUK R05 HMS Invincible Ended readiness reserve.
2010-octAircraftUK R07 HMS Ark Royal hosted 656 Squadron (AAC) Apaches for maritime operations trials for c. 3 weeks.
2010-nov-17Port VisitUK R07 HMS Ark Royal 5 day visit to North Shields, departing 22 Nov
2010-nov-24AircraftUK R07 HMS Ark Royal Flew off her last Sea King and 4 Harriers (2 from 800NAS and 2 from RAF 1 Squadron).
2010-dec-3UK R07 HMS Ark Royal She returned to Portsmouth that day from a 5 day visit to Hamburg.
2011-mar-11DecommissionedUK R07 HMS Ark Royal Ark Royal was decommissioned at HMNB Portsmouth, 3 years early following defence cuts announced in the SDSR spending review of Oct 2010.
2011-apr-12Fate: scrappedUK R05 HMS Invincible March 24 2011 Invincible hull was towed from Portsmouth harbour to Leyal Ship Dismantling and Recycling in Turkey for scrapping. Completed January 2012
2011-decPort VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious visited Hamburg, following completion of post refit training
2012-feb-3DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious departed HMNB Portsmouth for 8 week cold weather work up off northern Norway
2012-feb-29Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious visited North Shields for 4 day visit to Tyneside, departed on 3 Mar.
2012-mar-9UK R06 HMS Illustrious collided with tug in Harstad (Norway) and holed twice above waterline. Returned to HMNB Portsmouth on 18 Mar for repairs.
2012-sepTrialsUK R06 HMS Illustrious first of type trials for Merlin HM.2 ZH826 for 12 day performance assessment period, off Plymouth
2012-oct-1DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious departed HMNB Portsmouth for 3 month Cougar 12 deployment in the Mediterranean, with a detachment of Apache from 656 Sq AAC, Merlins from 814 NAS, 2x ASaC Sea Kings from 854 NAS and a mixed detachment of 845 NAS and 846 NAS Commando Sea Kings. Also deployed were HMS Bulwark, HMS Montrose and HMS Northumberland, with RFA Mounts Bay and mv Hartland Point in support.
2012-nov-19Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious 5 day visit to Valletta, Malta, including 2 day Ship Open to Visitors, departing 23 Nov.
2013-feb-14Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious to Liverpool for 5 day visit including Ship Open to Visitors on 16 and 17 Feb.
2013-apr-26Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious on completion of Exercise Joint Warrior, visited Dublin and departed 29 Apr
2013-may-8Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious moored on the Thames at Greenwich Reach, for Battle of the Atlantic commemorations. Eventually departed 14 May.
2013-may-20Fate: scrappedUK R07 HMS Ark Royal departed Portsmouth under tow for scrapping in Turkey. Passed Malta on 5 Jun 2013.
2013-aug-12DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious Cougar 13 departed HMNB Portsmouth for Gulf, Red Sea and Horn of Africa to participate in Ex Cougar 13. Embarked a Merlin from 829 NAS and 3x Lynx Mk.9A from 659 Sq AAC. Returned to HMNB Portsmouth on 10 Jan 2014.
2013-oct-24DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious transit through the Strait of Hormuz, escorted by HMS Montrose, as part of Cougar 13 deployment. Attached to CTF-150. Ordered to Philippines on 14 Nov.
2013-nov-25DeploymentUK R06 HMS Illustrious Typhoon Haiyan relief operations arrived in the Philippines to relieve HMS Daring, during the humanitarian mission to assist after Typhoon Haiyan with an 829 NAS Merlin, 3x 845 NAS Commando Sea Kings and 3 Lynx AH.7 of 659 Sq AAC. Departed 11 Dec.
2014-junPort VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious visit to Cruise Terminal, Lisbon after Exercise Deep Blue, departed 26 Jun
2014-jul-18Port VisitUK R06 HMS Illustrious departed Rosyth in early hours of 18 July
2014-jul-22HomeportUK R06 HMS Illustrious Returned to HMNB Portsmouth for final time
2014-aug-28DecommissionedUK R06 HMS Illustrious decommissioned at HMNB Portsmouth
2016-dec-7Fate: scrappedUK R06 HMS Illustrious departed Portsmouth for final time under tow for Turkey and scrapping.

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