R06 HMS Illustrious

UK Royal Navy

1982 to 2014    

R06 HMS Illustrious

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Flight Deck: L
Call Sign: GVUN
See Also: CV Illustrious class R87

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1976-oct-7Laid downSwan Hunter Yard No. 102
1982-jun-20Commissionedat sea, underway. Formally commissioned on 20 Mar 1983, after her maiden deployment.
1982-aug-2DeploymentDeparted HMNB Portsmouth on her 1st operation, to relieve HMS Invincible on 27 Aug in the South Atlantic, following Operation Corporate.
1984-jul-16Trialstrials for Sea Harrier launched Sea Eagle missile system culminated in sinking of HMS Devonshire as a target.
1986-apr-3DeploymentAccident departed HMNB Portsmouth on 2 Apr. 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 lasted until mid Jul.
1986-jul-21Deploymentto Far East and Australia for the GLOBAL 86 deployment, returning to Portsmouth on 18 Dec 1986.
1986-oct-4Port Visit Fleet Review: 75th anniversary of RAN participated in celebrations for 75th anniversary of Royal Australian Navy at Sydney, during GLOBAL 86 deployment.
1986-nov-14Port Visitvisited Bombay (Mumbai) during GLOBAL 86 deployment.
1991-sepRefitGoalkeeper update refit Goalkeeper until Sep 1993 at HMD Devonport.
1995-febDeploymentHRDalmatian coast UNPROFOR to the Adriatic to relieve HMS Invincible. On station until Jul 1995, when relieved by HMS Invincible.
1995-dec-9DeploymentHRDalmatian coast 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.
1996 IFOR (implementation force) in Adriatic sea
1997-jan-13Deploymentdeparted UK for a Far East deployment
1999-sep-28Port VisitNLAmsterdam Harbour 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-17Deploymentdeparted HMNB Portsmouth for a Persian Gulf deployment, returning, after diversions on 14 Jun.
2000-mayDeploymentSLFreetown Port Sierra Leone Operation Palliser ordered off Freetown, Sierra Leone to support Operation Palliser.
2001-sep-3Deploymentdeparted 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.
2002-decRefitHMD Rosyth Merlin upgrade refit 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.
2006-mar-29Deploymentdeparted 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-julDeploymentLBoff Lebanon Operation Highbrow assisted in evacuation of British nationals from Beirut, during Israel-Lebanon war
2006-nov-10Port VisitGreenwich Reach moored on the Thames at Greenwich Reach. Eventually departed 15 Nov.
2007-jul-7USMC Osprey first landing on a non-US ship
2008-feb-26Port VisitMTGrand Harbour / il-Port il-Kbir / Valletta entered Malta, escorted by HMS Edinburgh. Departed 29 Feb.
2009-may-6Port VisitGreenwich Reach 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-5Deployment 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-8Refitafter entering Crombie for de-storing, HMS Ilustrious began a 16 month refit at Babcock in Rosyth, departing 20 Jun 2011.
2011-decPort Visitvisited Hamburg, following completion of post refit training
2012-feb-3Deploymentdeparted HMNB Portsmouth for 8 week cold weather work up off northern Norway
2012-feb-29Port Visitvisited North Shields for 4 day visit to Tyneside, departed on 3 Mar.
2012-mar-9NOHarstad collided with tug in Harstad (Norway) and holed twice above waterline. Returned to HMNB Portsmouth on 18 Mar for repairs.
2012-sepTrialsfirst of type trials for Merlin HM.2 ZH826 for 12 day performance assessment period, off Plymouth
2012-oct-1Deploymentdeparted 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 VisitMTGrand Harbour / il-Port il-Kbir / Valletta Grand Harbour 5 day visit to Valletta, Malta, including 2 day Ship Open to Visitors, departing 23 Nov.
2013-feb-14Port VisitPier Head Cruise Liner Terminal to Liverpool for 5 day visit including Ship Open to Visitors on 16 and 17 Feb.
2013-apr-26Port VisitIEDublin Port Alexandra Basin on completion of Exercise Joint Warrior, visited Dublin and departed 29 Apr
2013-may-8Port VisitGreenwich Reach moored on the Thames at Greenwich Reach, for Battle of the Atlantic commemorations. Eventually departed 14 May.
2013-aug-12Deployment 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-24DeploymentPersian Gulf 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-25DeploymentRPVisayan Sea 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 VisitPTJardim do Tabaco Lisboa visit to Cruise Terminal, Lisbon after Exercise Deep Blue, departed 26 Jun
2014-jul-18Port Visitdeparted Rosyth in early hours of 18 July
2014-jul-22HomeportReturned to HMNB Portsmouth for final time
2014-aug-28Decommissioneddecommissioned at HMNB Portsmouth
2016-dec-7Fate: scrappedTRAliaga Shipbreakers departed Portsmouth for final time under tow for Turkey and scrapping.


    from Invincible class
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


    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    


UK Swan Hunter, Wallsend

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