British warship HMS Invincible put up for auction online

Friday, December 3, 2010

HMS Invincible served in the Falklands, Balkans, and Iraq wars before it was decommissioned in 2005.
Image: Charlesjsharp.

The British warship HMS Invincible has been put up for auction online. Invincible, an aircraft carrier that served in the Falklands, Balkans, and Iraq wars, was decommissioned in 2005 after 25 years of service with the Royal Navy. Jon Rosamond, editor of a naval magazine said that it "has been offered by the MoD for non-warlike purposes." No bids have yet been received, but it is thought that it could sell for £2m.

During service, the vessel's four Rolls-Royce engines could propel it to a top speed of 28 knots, with a range of 7,000 nautical miles. The flight deck carried eighteen British Aerospace Harrier II fighter jets, and four Westland Sea King helicopters. In recent years, however, she has been reduced to reserve. Rosamond said: "Even if someone did want to take it on as a going concern it would never be used as an aircraft carrier again."

The MoD held a decommissioning service for the vessel in in Portsmouth, Hampshire, in August 2005. "Pipers played aboard Invincible while it sailed into Portsmouth Naval Base on 1 August for the last time. A gun salute and a flypast also marked the event," Wikinews reported at the time. Bids for the ship must be submitted by early January next year. Naval consultant Richard Scott said that the vessel "certainly carved her name out in history in 1982. But every ship reaches the end of its career and she is at the end of hers."