Home » News & Analysis » U.K. Carrier HMS Illustrious Sold for Scrap


U.K. Carrier HMS Illustrious Sold for Scrap

The U.K. Royal Navy Invincible-class aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (R 06), and Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in 2007. US Navy Photo

The U.K. Royal Navy Invincible-class aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (R 06), and Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) in 2007. US Navy Photo

Unable to find a permanent home for the retired Royal Navy carrier HMS Illustrious, the U.K. Ministry of Defence announced on Tuesday it would sell the ship for scrap to a Turkish firm.

Illustrious was sold to LEYAL Ship Recycling Ltd. for around $2.64 million (£ 2 million), read the statement.

Commissioned in 1982, Illustrious was deployed at the conclusion of the first Gulf War and provided aid to the Philippines in response following Typhoon Haiyan.

The carrier was decommissioned in 2014.

The sale comes after three cities – Hull, Portsmouth and British Overseas Territory Gibraltar — had entered failed bids to convert the 22,000-ton ship into a museum, according to The Telegraph.

“The size of the warship and the amount needed to maintain her are understood to have defeated all the bids,” wrote the paper in May.

Illustrious is scheduled to leave Portsmouth for Turkey in the fall.

“We have done all we can for over two years to find a home for the former HMS Illustrious in the U.K., and regrettably all options have now been exhausted,” U.K. Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said in the Tuesday MoD statement.

The MoD has sold two other carriers to Turkish scrap merchants in the last several years — HMS Ark Royal for $3.83 million in 2013 and HMS Invincible $2.64 million.

The first of two planned Queen Elizabeth carriers, which will bring a carrier capability back to the Royal Navy, is due in Portsmouth in 2017.

“As the former aircraft carrier gets ready to leave Portsmouth, so we can look to the future and the arrival of the new Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, which will ensure that the Royal Navy continues to be a pre-eminent maritime power in the modern world,” former Illustrious commander Mike Utley said in a statement.

Like What You've Been Reading? Get Proceedings Today
Categories: News & Analysis
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.

  • Colin Ware

    Shame but not surprising. This is the same navy that didn’t bother to save Warspite as both a symbol of the dreadnought era and to honor her extraordinary service from Jutland through the 2nd world war….

    • RobM1981

      I thought the same thing. Illustrious was a fine ship, but historically it pales when compared to Warspite. That was a ship that deserved to be a museum. Oh well.

    • John B. Morgen

      The British do not have a good track record for preserving historical warships, and nor does the United States. Too many outstanding warships have been scrapped, so much for naval history awareness.

      • Colin Ware

        Not sure I can agree with your comment about the United States. Here are just some of the ships you can visit:

        WW2 BBs

        Alabama (highly recomended – incredible access throughout the ship and turrrets)
        Missouri
        Iowa
        Massachusetts
        Wisconsin
        New Jersey
        North Carolina (highly recommended – esp. their special tours like “firepower”)

        WW1 Dreadnought
        Texas – even though modernized, this is the only ship in the world that gives you a sense of what it was like to sail with Jelicoe or Beatty. Because, Texas did sail with Beatty at the end of the war. A must visit (and do the hard hat tour which happens a couple times of year for behind the scenes access that is incredible)

        Aircraft Carriers
        Midway (highly recommended – extraordinary access)
        Yorktown (highly recommended – also lots of below decks access)
        Lexington
        Intrepid
        Hornet

        Submarines
        Too many to list – but Nautilus, first nuclear sub is a museum ship

        CLs
        USS Salem
        USS Little Rock

        DDs and Cutters
        Too many to list

        • Ctrot

          The only one missing that should most definitely be on the above list is USS Enterprise (CV-6). What a shame.

        • John B. Morgen

          The battleship Washington would have been a very good addition to the [Museum Fleet], for its role of sinking a Japanese battleship in 1942. Or the battleship California, etc., to name a few.

        • Anthony “stalker6recon”

          I bet 90% of the population doesn’t even know the significance of the Missouri, and you don’t need to be a Navy buff to know, you just have to know history. People today can’t even find their home state on a border only map of the US, they sure as heck don’t know what happened to Missouri. They probably think the story of the USS Indianapolis is a fictional tale from Jaws.

          I wish I was born in 1920, because since 1970,its been all down hill.

          • John B. Morgen

            You’re probably right on all points because history is [NOT] being taught well enough in the United States, just a few schools have good history programs. Every American must visit the battleship Missouri in Hawaii, and also what is left of the battleship Arizona.

          • owlafaye

            I visited the Missouri…and I am ex-Navy and Merchant Marine…The Missouri was “Clapped Out” Ships get to a certain age where they are inherently dangerous. Serious malfunctions and break downs run about 20+ a day and that is on NEW ships. I hauled ammunition on ships built in the 1930s. The Edgar F. Luckenbach was a DC POWERED SHIP and we repaired it 24 hours a day just to get bombs to Vietnam…Harrowing, hair raising problems. Ships last 25 years and then are useless.

          • Secundius

            Thanks! You pretty much “Nailed It”! There’s a “Theoretical Limit” (i.e. Lifespan) on ALL Things. The US Navy/Coast Guard/Merchant Marines the “Worst” of it (i.e. Saltwater). I never served in the Navy, but did in the Army by “Layering Bandages” on Helicopters. But 25-years is pretty much the Norm for all Branches of the Services…

      • Colin Ware

        And if you really want to see something, the enormous reciprocating engines on Texas are worth the flight…

        • John B. Morgen

          Maybe some day I’ll visit her, but you can thank the People of Texas for saving this battleship, and era that she represents during the time that battleships were the strategic weapons of their day.

      • Secundius

        Consider COST of Maintaining the Ship as a Factor! HMS Victory was Launched in 1765 at a Cost of ~70,933 Pounds Sterling. Last Restoration was in 2012 at a Cost of ~2-Million Pound Sterling. A 354.665% of the Original Cost of the Ship. Apply that to CVN-65, USS Enterprise, Launched in 1962 at a Cost of ~$451.3-Million USD. When Enterprise Gets Restored at Victory’s last Restoration Cost, your Looking at Nearly $160,660,314,500.– USD. That $160.66-BILLION with a Capital “B”. You can Buy Nearly EIGHTY Arleigh Burke class Destroyers for that Restoration Cost…

        • John B. Morgen

          The comparing both the HMS Victory and the USS Enterprise CVN-65 is like comparing a watermelon to a peach. A peach meaning the HMS Victory. Both warships are many millions of light-years apart because of naval architecture and construction are quite different; the Enterprise was built by using steel, while the Victory was built mostly with wood. To compare them is pointless; however, a good comparison would be with the USS Midway CVB-41 because both carriers were built during the Post-World War II era, thereby very little difference in naval construction.

          • Secundius

            Approximately 247-years went by from the Time HMS Victory in 1765 when it Launched to is 2012 Restoration. I was Using Enterprise as a Modern Day Comparison. Launched in 1962 with a possible Restoration in around 2209. With Inflation Factored In, “Maybe” a Trillion USD. Unless they Do the Restoration Like In Star Trek (FOR FREE) with the use of Shipbuilding Replicator’s…

          • John B. Morgen

            I thought Star Trek was around 2350+ based from the original series. I still think the USS Enterprise CVN-65 could have been saved and continued be used as a front-line carrier; instead of throwing her away, and for what? Age shouldn’t be the factor for disgarding good warships.

          • Secundius

            The Original TV Series of 1966, took place in Circa 2265. The Original Movies from Circa 2278 to 2295. And the Next Generation in Circa in 2373…

          • John B. Morgen

            Okay I was not too off……

          • Secundius

            Ironically, the Original Book placed the Founding of the Federation in 2127. And the Next Generation in 2161…

          • John B. Morgen

            Hmmmm, the Next Generation series takes place in the 2300+ as I remembered watching the Next Generation series. There’s something wrong with those dates.

          • Secundius

            Just ask the Computer on the Timelines of the Differing Star Trek TV Shows…

          • muzzleloader

            John, the Enterprise was 50 years old. Her machinery was on its last legs. The reactors were worn to the point that trying to refuel the ship again would have been dangerous. I was at the the big E’s deactivation ceremony in 2012, and as good as it was to see the old girl one more time, she looked tired, inside and out. Those of us who served on her loved her, but we all acknowledged it was time for her to go.

          • John B. Morgen

            The eight reactors could be removed, then replaced with the same two reactors from the Nimitz class. It could be done, but it would take a lot reconstruction in terms of casing a section of the hull; then replacing it with a newer hull section. The Enterprise CVN-65 looked just fine from the outside, unless you know something that lot of us don’t really know.

  • Andre

    Don’t worry, the RN will soon have two carriers with no escorts and no aircraft to fly off them…

    The Argies are just quivering with fear.

    • Horn

      They may not have the aircraft right away, but they have escorts. The Argentine Navy and Air Force are in much worse shape.

      • Andre

        Oh I know. The Argie AF is a disaster and a single Type 45 could demolish it.

    • Robert Edwards

      How will they defend these large carriers against a barrage of hypersonic ‘carrier killer’ missiles?

      • Andre

        I don’t see how they can, even with Nulka and Pandarra Fog.

  • Horn

    Britain has so few preserved military vessels, especially for a nation that had the largest navy in the world 100 years ago. Very sad.

    • El_Sid

      I think it’s probably because we’ve traditionally had so many ships that we are less attached to the fabric of individual ships. Easy come, easy go. OTOH, the RN is far more likely to commemorate ships by reusing their names, whereas the USN prefers to commemorate individuals in their ship names. It’s kinda crazy that at the moment there’s an HMS Enterprise but no USS Enterprise, and from a British perspective it’s astonishing that there’s no Saratoga, Yorktown etc.

      The economics of ship preservation are tough – it works if they’re in or near London, but it’s hard anywhere else, and the British climate isn’t exactly friendly to large lumps of steel. If we were to preserve any of the class then it should have been not Lusty but Vince, as a major player in the greatest sea war of the post-WWII period.

      • Jack Berquist

        USS Enterprise (CVN-80), the 3rd of the new Gerald Ford class, will join the USN in 2025. I think the 2nd, (CVN-79), will be the John F. Kennedy…

        • El_Sid

          @Yeah, I know – but CVN-80 seems to be a bit of an exception, JFK is a more representative example of politicians glorifying other politicians rather than honouring the collective efforts of past ships. I know the previous JFK served with distinction, but compared to Yorktown etc? Seriously?

          • Colin Ware

            Glorifying politicians is sadly how we sometimes get ships built over here…the USS Stennis is an example…

            However, many of the people honored with having ships named after them were not done so for cynical reasons.

            JFK was a popular, assassinated president who served with distinction in the Pacific War, and used the navy masterfully to defuse the Cuban Missile crisis.

            Gerald Ford was also a President and also a Navy man.

            Ronald Reagan was a popular president and oversaw the rebirth of the navy after the painful budget cuts and deferred maintenance of the post Viet Nam era

            Forestall who tragically committed suicide was the Secretary of the Navy and helped birth the first super carriers

            And Lincoln was perhaps the greatest Commander in Chief in the country’s history.

          • El_Sid

            Still, by honouring Ford or Bush that means that all the various Yorktowns and Saratogas are not honoured. And I’d rather call DDG-1002 USS Johnston in honour of Taffy 3 than name it after Lyndon. It’s about priorities.

            And it still remains a “thing” that the US tends to recognise individuals (qv the Burkes) whereas the RN tends to recognise past crews collectively by reusing names. It just seems to be the way the two societies work. Plus names like Daring, Astute, Invincible and Vengeance are just so much more…warlike than Giffords or Milk.

          • Colin Ware

            Yes, and the especially fearsome flower class corvettes 🙂

          • El_Sid

            Touché, although that’s an example of actions speaking louder than words, the likes of Sunflower had a record to shame more glorious names. I hope we reuse some of those names for the upcoming MHC class.

            On a related note, now that we’re coming up to the G’s, I hope we get another HMS Garland soon – a name with over 800 years of history behind it.

          • Colin Ware

            And we do have a tradition of naming capital ships for states – first BBs then boomers. Cruisers are/were named for cities – like your Town and Country classes. Subs for fish, then cities as well. And there are many naval ships named after great commanders – the Nimitz, the Burke destroyers, the Spruance destroyers, etc. Makes sense though – we are a culture that does celebrate the individual.

    • Colin Ware

      Agreed. If I could pick just one to save it would have been Warspite…

  • thrunch

    Very short-sighted. In the event of a major naval war, these ships could still provide ASW helicopters for convoy escort duty. They should have been laid up in reserve at least for a decade or two.

    • El_Sid

      The RN doesn’t have the manpower to crew them or the helicopters to spare.

  • Hugh

    A great pity they didn’t proceed with the catapult/arrester variant, even if using the 1960s technology with auxiliary boilers. Planes are the armament of such ships, so need the best payload/range.

    • El_Sid

      Arguably the main armament was ASW helicopters for the role they were envisaged for. Cats/traps would just hinder ASW operations as well as increasing the crew requirements, and bigger planes would have just reduced the already not huge airgroup.

  • Pat Patterson

    We couldn’t save the USS Enterprise of WWII fame.

    • really?

      • Colin Ware

        No, but we have a number of Essex class carriers and the Midway. And they have done an incredible job with Midway.

  • John B. Morgen

    The United States should have purchase this British CVLH, and then deploy her to support our amphibious forces with ASW support, and fighter protection for the Marines going ashore. Once again, President Obama administration has failed to grasp the concept of sea power.

    • El_Sid

      She’s 35 years old and knackered, plus she’d need a completely separate logistics train to anything in the US fleet. The US could get much better bang for their buck by investing in spares and maintenance for their existing assets.

      • John B. Morgen

        Not much of an issue because if the Royal Navy handed over the ship’s plans, and working drawings for every part, or contract the British to produce such spare parts. Remember this, the United States Navy purchased three Royal Navy supply ships, which are still in operational with the Fleet. So argument does not hold water–sorry!

        • El_Sid

          It’s still a)very inefficient to set up a whole new supply chain (hey, we’re struggling to support the WR-21) and b)the ship’s knackered.

          If the USN really wanted a 32-year-old helicopter carrier in the fleet, it would have made much more sense to hold on to the Inchon.

          • John B. Morgen

            The United States Navy could adjust to the British carrier, and its operational requirements. As for the USS Inchon, yes it would be a good choice but it does not have a ski-jump which the British CVLH does have.

          • Secundius

            I think the Reason they (the RN) Scrapped the Illustrious was because of Saltwater Corrosion Damage. That Last Recent Photo SHOW a Significant Amount of Saltwater Corrosion Damage. Just About Everywhere…

          • John B. Morgen

            In that case, the Illustrious only needs a few days at the dockyard for minor ship-keeping maintenance before putting back to sea. If this is the reason that the British government is using, then shame on them for wasting a good warship……

          • Secundius

            From What I Could Make Out, “These” Won’t Be Minor Repair. The Invincible class, was a All Aluminum Ship.

            I’ve Wielded Aluminum Before, I was a State Certified Wielder Before Being Drafted Into the US Army. Person’s NOT Qualified to Wield Marine-Grade Aluminum, Can Do More Harm Than Good…

          • John B. Morgen

            I believed the Invincible class was built in combination of both steel and aluminum, but I do not know the percentages that were used in the construction. I wished my grand-father was around, then he could tell me because he was a Naval Engineer of the Royal Canadian Navy—very high up—senior rank..

          • El_Sid

            Anything is possible if you throw enough money at it – but it wouldn’t be remotely cost-effective to set up a new logistics chain for a single Cold War ship.

            I thought you were just wanting ASW and fighter cover, in which case the skijump is less important than if you’re carrying heavy bombs. But the lack of skijump is the least of your worries in using Inchon at the moment…

          • John B. Morgen

            The said carrier is a better carrier than the Inchon because the Royal Navy carrier was built as a true CV type warship than the Inchon. The USS America is really a LPH, and she can act as CV as well a troop troop transport; however, the British carrier is a pure carrier, and the HMS Illustrious would not costs as much than to build one more USS America for the USMC.

          • Secundius

            In an Article from “New Wars” dated 2009, the Only Way the USS America to be Truly Effective as a Medium Aircraft Carrier. It would Have to Outfitted with a Ski-Jump Ramp. By Installing a Ski-Jump, the US Navy could Probably Double the Airwing Complement and Add a Couple of AEW/C Ospreys as well as Helicopters…

          • John B. Morgen

            I agree…..

          • Secundius

            Without the Ski-Jump Ramp, You’re Just “Log Jamming” to Ship…

          • John B. Morgen

            This is one of the reasons why I’m in favor for having angled flight decks to avoid such log-jams on the flight deck…..

          • Secundius

            The Centerline “Track Line” is Offset on the Carrier version of the USS America. Which Allow for the Parking of Aircraft Next to the Control Island and Fore & Aft of the Island…

          • John B. Morgen

            Very similar to the old straight flight deck Essex class carriers, or Midways.

          • Secundius

            Probably More like the Essex class. Center Track Line Runs from Forward Near Port Flight Deck to Starboard Near Aft Flight Deck…

          • John B. Morgen

            I agree. However, it is interesting that the United States Navy did not incorporate the angle deck designs for all the carrier designs than using the old straight flight decks for the America type carriers—it’s quite odd.

          • Secundius

            I don’t think that it was a Serious Consideration in the Designing of the Ship Class. Afterall SCS Duties was a Secondary Role and NOT a Permanent One Either…

          • John B. Morgen

            Or building a straight flight deck carrier would take less construction time than building a carrier with an angle flight deck.

          • Secundius

            That Too…

          • John B. Morgen

            During the 1953 the United States Navy was thinking about reintroducing an improved CVE for ASW deployment. This CVE program was dropped due to the lack of funding; however, this CVE would have been built with an angled flight deck, and designed to carry 20 S2F Tracker aircraft.

          • Secundius

            Oh Well, Hindsight is 50/50!

          • El_Sid

            By installing a ski-jump you remove 1-2 landing spots for helicopter/V-22 operations. That’s why the US gators don’t have ski-jumps, they’re optimised for vertical lift.

          • Secundius

            Adding a 12(deg) Ski-Jump Ramp, reduces Take-Off Distance to Just 435-feet. A 13(deg) Ski-Jump Ramp like that on the Invincible class, reduces Take-Off Distance to ~401-feet…

          • El_Sid

            It doesn’t matter if you reduce the take-off distance to 100ft – a helicopter can’t (easily) land on a ski-jump, but it can land on a flat deck. So if you replace flat deck with skijump, you’re reducing the area for helicopter operations. That’s less important for the RN who wanted to use them primarily for fast jets, but is important for USN gators.

            Although skijumps will obviously reduce your take-off distance, they were really about maximising the MTOW of the Sea Harrier, which was always a bit tight, particularly in hot weather. Shame they never got the Mk107 engine.

          • Secundius

            Flight Deck Length is ~844-feet long, with 13(deg) Ski-Jump Ramp and the Length of the F/AV-35B included is ~453-feet. With a Reserve Spacing of ~391-feet! If a Sikorsky CH-53K Sea Dragon CAN’T Either Take-Off or Land in the Space of 391-feet, The Pilot has a Visual Acuity Problem and Shouldn’t Be Flying…

          • El_Sid

            Lusty was built as a carrier, but in her last refit she had all the Harrier stuff ripped out and was reconfigured for helicopter operations as an LPH. You can’t compare her to the Americas, she’s a similar size to the Iwo Jimas so is too small to operate F-35 or V-22.

            Of course a ship launched in 1978 will be cheaper to buy than a brand new ship, it comes down to running costs and life expectancy.

          • John B. Morgen

            The USS America (LHA-6) is 158.8 feet longer than the HMS Illustrious, As for aircraft, both the AV-8 Harrier and the F-35B, both are relatively of the same size, with some very minor differences in size. The F-35B can operate from the British carrier without any difficulty; however, the V-22 might to have operate from the fantail area of the Illustrious, due to the narrow flight deck. About two or three V-22s could operate from the British carrier. My claim can be verify by an examination of scale models of the British carrier with American models of both the F-35B and also the V-22.

          • El_Sid

            F-35B is 40% wider than a Sea Harrier, and >20% taller – it’s a significant increase, which means correspondingly fewer can be operated. Plus everything is heavier.

            I replied earlier with a picture of the USMC visiting Lusty in 2007 (but it was a link so it’s waiting moderation), which clearly shows how small she is, and how crowded it gets once you get any number of aircraft on deck. And yes, V-22’s struggle to fit. Google “USMC Harriers line the deck of HMS Illustrious MOD 45147594.jpg”

            LHA-6 is a bit longer, but is double the displacement – she has a lot more room for hangars etc, and they’re a proper height, have all the kit for lifting out F-35 engines etc. World of difference.

          • John B. Morgen

            I should have clarify what Harrier I was referring, I meant to say the AV-8B Harrier II and not the British Sea Harrier. There’s a likely chance that Harriers would be deployed on the British carrier, and not the F-35Bs as the initial deployment of aircraft.

          • El_Sid

            AV-8B isn’t much different to the SHAR. There’s negligible chance that QNLZ will ever deploy with Harriers in any kind of significant way – the whole point is that she’s optimised for F-35. The UK doesn’t have any Harriers of its own, so the only Harriers would come as visitors from the USMC, but the USMC/USN are far more interested in using QNLZ as a testbed for large-scale F-35 operations.

          • owlafaye

            Deploying F-35s from a ship at sea is going to be a real clown show. When the British realize what they have really purchased there are going to be screams howls all night.

            An F-35 taking off with a full load of weapons and fuel can barely make it down to the local grocery store. It only has range and maneuverability when it is empty. It is a pig with an anvil around its neck.

          • Secundius

            R06, HMS. Illustrious was Put on the Auction Block, to be used as a Preservation (Museum) Ship in 2013. Asking Price was ONLY 2-Million Pounds Sterling. Highest Bid was from Kingston upon Hull (Hull City) on the Humber River @ 150,000 Pounds Sterling. A Turkish Scrap Yard, Bidded ~2.9-Million Pounds Sterling and Won. The Reason for the Scrap was Replacement Parts, and ONLY Supply Source were Invincible and Ark Royal. Last Restoration was in 2011 for ~40-Million Pound Sterling, and the Last of Available Parts Ran Dry. Ship was Suppose to be in Service to at Least 2018, but Budget Cuts in Defense Budget KILLED ANY Foreseeable Scheduled Maintenance of the Ship. So the Order was Give, Sold as Museum Ship or Scrap. Scrap Won Out…

          • John B. Morgen

            Indeed, I have seen this done before many times by both the American and British governments, they are cutting the legs off the naval services that are their primary protectors. I think both governments are terrible managers, they cannot seem to know how to manage monies. Both government are lacking in foresight.

  • Colin Ware

    Kudos though to the IWM for saving and restoring the HMS Caroline in Belfast. It’s not a QE class like Warspite, but they were both there at Jutland…

    • El_Sid

      And M33 was at Gallipoli. Plus we have a WWII cruiser smack bang in the middle of our capital city along with a WWI sloop, the Indians are preserving Hermes for us, there’s a couple at Chatham – and there’s an entire class of SSBNs tied up at Rosyth. :-))

  • Anthony “stalker6recon”

    What a sad story for a carrier to be sold to a muslim country, so they can scrap it? Right, that is just pathetic for a ship that isn’t even that old to be dissected and digested by turkey. All those who sailed on her, I am sorry that the contribution that you, and this ship made during its short life, apparently are not worthy of a more suitable resting place.

    The UK and the US have seen our militaries decimated and the teeth and testicles removed by idiot liberalism, where being strong is a bad word in their vocabulary. We will regret allowing this to happen, as russia, china and iran begin filling all the voids we vacated. When the next world war begins, we will truly be on our back foot, and there won’t be the surge of war bonds and women working the production line while the men go off to fight. Nope, it will be a slaughter and watching some idiot libtard standing aboard a russian warship, signing the unconditional surrender.

    How did we let this happen?

    • El_Sid

      The UK and the US have seen our militaries decimated and the teeth and
      testicles removed by idiot liberalism, where being strong is a bad word
      in their vocabulary.

      The UK is spending as much on her military today as during the peak of the British Empire. It’s just that a) the money doesn’t go as far these days and b) a lot of the strength is less visible – GCHQ is the modern Scapa Flow, and just one Astute costs as much as the entire Type 23 fleet. The new SSBN’s each cost more than QNLZ.

  • It will continue to serve as toasters, refrigerators and pickup trucks.

  • Lindsay Algra

    I wish New Zealand would do the same. We grasp to these old and outdated ships that despite expensive modern upgrades are merely overpriced relics. Ship building is something that the British people are good at, they excel in and have for hundreds of years. I just wish we could use our own ingenuity to build one of a kind prototypes here in NZ.