HMS Illustrious is to be sold for scrap after schemes to preserve her for the nation have now been abandoned.

Scrap dealers are being asked to bid to “recycle” the retired HMS Illustrious. The announcement is expected to end hopes the carrier can be saved. It is understood that three cities submitted proposals to try to preserve the vessel but each fell through.

Following the retirement of her Harriers in 2010, Illustrious operated as one of two Royal Navy helicopter carriers. By 2014 she was the oldest ship in the Royal Navy’s active fleet, having 32 years’ service, and will not be replaced until HMS Queen Elizabeth is in service. It was originally announced that Illustrious would be preserved for the nation, this now seems unlikely.

An MoD spokeswoman said:

“We have done all we can for over two years to find a home for the former HMS Illustrious in the UK, and regrettably no suitable bidder has come forward. While it is a difficult decision, we have announced an open competition for the recycling of HMS Illustrious, while remaining open to heritage options.”

The notice, which can be found here, states:

“The Disposal Services Authority (DSA) is inviting expressions of interest for the sale of the former HMS Illustrious for recycling. She was decommissioned in 2014.”

While this is a shame, it’s understandable as most believe the money required to run the vessel as a museum while maintaining her is simply not there.

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Mark Campbell
Guest

Should be turned into a floating museum like USS Intrepid in New York!! With a history like hers it’s a disgrace if they scrap her!!

Adam Williams
Guest

The government did say she would be kept but money talks.

Gerry Moar
Guest

The cost of upkeep would be astronomical.

Bob Stirling
Guest
Bob Stirling

Really? How much are we looking at if she is just kept at berth? Genuinely wondering.

Chris Power
Guest

Part the problem is she’s the “least historic” of the 3 …she wasnt in the Falklands and she’s not called Ark Royal. Sad day.

Pete Herbert
Guest

Better spend the money on new kit

John Atkinson
Guest

Built on the Tyne along with Ark Royal. I was at the launch of Ark Royal and it was an amazing sight to see.

Jason Ruddick
Guest

The Government did put it out to tender but not enough interest , unfortunately it was inevitable as it costs the tax payer a lot of money for her to stand idle and money is in short supply

Niru Ansonī Benetto
Guest

Gutted!!!?

Darryl Abbs
Guest

Sink Ex

Harry Gillespie
Guest

Good job we’ve got the 2 Queen Elizabeth’s on the way!

Bill Fowler
Guest

Figures.

Stephen Willmer
Guest

You know the scrap yard is going to be like; give you 40 quid.

Terry Busby
Guest

Such a pity , it would have sat nicely on the River Humber .

William John Jardim
Guest

Unfortunate news but that’s reality. The costs of a museum ship are immense and unfortunately not viable for a ship her size without significant financial backing.

Richard Simcox
Guest

Why not park it in the Thames like HMS Belfast and turn it into s tourist attraction?

Charles Verrier
Guest

I’m guessing that the costs of prepping her for long term static display (draining down tanks, making everything safe, etc) are catastrophically uneconomic.

Dunc Cushenan
Guest

Daniel lets buy her

Daniel Mooney
Guest

The Dominion of Greater Westmidlands needs a navy and she will do

Dunc Cushenan
Guest

Or we could just buy some Gerald Fords, they might be better for us

Daniel Mooney
Guest

Nope we’re only buying from Commonwealth Realms

Martin Walker
Guest

It’s sad, but if the Ark Royal couldn’t get bought before being scrapped, this won’t either… End of an era… 🙁

Alex Williams
Guest

The former HMS Hermes may be available soon- arguably a ship with a more significant pedigree

Ian Ic Cordell
Guest

couple of footballers should show some patriotism and pay for her

Jack
Guest

It is a bit of a pity she couldn’t be preserved, but the truth is in recent years quite a lot of money has gone into saving and restoring a variety of classic RN vessels and we can never retain every ship that ever served.

Lee Buckingham
Guest

Disgusting.

Mark Jean Luc Deer
Guest

It works better than the new high tech destroyers they should keep her they may need her especially if there is a threat to UK and we have nothing to respond witg

Ian Stone Brown
Guest

Why Am I not Suprised

Richard Christian
Guest

Hate to see things like this happen, surely a millionaire somewhere could buy this, not even another nation to carry on using it!

Graeme Fergus
Guest

David ‘Digger’ Evans you could put it in your garden in France and tell all your Navy dits to your poor guests

David 'Digger' Evans
Guest

Hold that new swimming pool – you’re onto a winner there “Now here there, evening brief and sit rep…..”

Geordie Robinson
Guest

You’d still need a decent Controller though! You could always ask the RAF for help! Lol

David 'Digger' Evans
Guest

I can do that in a cross-dressing fashion ?

Hamish Frazer
Guest

David ‘Digger’ Evans, as her former SWO, I’d need to attend to ensure everything is conducted safely, and with style and panache

Gonzalo Delfinado
Guest

We buy

Patrick Fern
Guest

Stupid and that sucks. It should be a museum

Steve
Guest
Steve

Illustrious i am not so bothered about, but they should have done something with Invincible. The falkland war is likely to be the last ever war of the british empire/overseas territories and the carriers played such a pivotal role in it. There is no question in my mind that Invincible or Hermes (a bit late i know) should have been saved for the nation as a reminder of our history.

Dominic Tolson
Guest

James Alner You were asking about this yesterday

James Alner
Guest

Rip

Max Chris Hedges Bingham
Guest

I wouldn’t be averse to scrapping Illustrious if it were to be done in the UK where her steel can be recycled into future warships and the breakers yard properly managed with British workers benefitting from it rather than some unregulated, unsafe and poorly operated yard in an underdeveloped country where the health and safety, pay and conditions of workers are ignored for profit.

jon livesey
Guest
jon livesey

The last time we tried to scrap ships in the UK, Greenpeace shut it down and they ended up in Pakistan..

Tim Nichols
Guest

Better get a wriggle on Phil Gautby! ?

Phil Gautby
Guest

Agreed mate. Will do

Robert Hazlett
Guest

How much is she worth?

Philippe Esseiva
Guest

Triste. C’était avec ses deux bateaux frères l’invincible et l’Ark Royal de très belles unités

Philip Keary
Guest

Sam Kenwright you should buy this !

Thomas Lawler
Guest

Quite frankly why the MOD persisted in attempting to find a suitable buyer is beyond me. It was never going to happen. How much has this cost persisting with this flawed mentality?

Marck Carbonell
Guest

You are going to scrap this Ship? It is a hero of the Falklands!

Jason Rushton
Guest

That was her sister ship, Invincible

Steve
Guest
Steve

It’s not, it arrived at the Falklands after the war was over, as it was still being built when the war broke out.

However, its the closest thing we have to one.

Marck Carbonell
Guest

Sell it to South Korea and make some money.

Anthony James Day
Guest

Disappointed it’s a disgrace!!

Daniel Stokes
Guest

Would have made a quite world class diving attraction sunk in the right location…..

Leon Fisher
Guest

Another broken promise

Jason Rushton
Guest

Totally disgusted with the MOD & this Tory government .

Kenneth Callcutt
Guest

?

Alan Hawkins
Guest

It’s a disgrace , should be able to die ,with some dignity. Crying shame.

Brian Mooney
Guest

Not a sight for me to see the last of her class sail on old girl

Carl Lama
Guest

I thought lusty was already sold and scraped

Victor Sheppard
Guest

Fucking make money out of the sale scrap is worth a lot. Depends what we sale with it

Jonny 'Murdoch' Miller
Guest

Pip, bang goes the idea of replacing Brizzle with a flight-deck capable accommodation option!

Neil Mcsharry
Guest

What a piss take ??

Patrick Lundström
Guest

Yeah, fuck schools and NHS and such crap! Brexit shook loose a few hundred million Sterrrrling so baby carrier museum it is! 😛

Alan Lynn
Guest

Stop that foreign aid once and for all.will give the nation a bonus

jon livesey
Guest
jon livesey

It’s the same old story. People have plenty of mouth, but they can’t quite find their money.

Andy Tyler
Guest

Even if it ends up as some kind of hotel in Dubai it’s better than frankly and illustrious vessel being scraped!

Jason Mcquade
Guest

A nice spot on the Thames as a floating museum would be better.

Jason Simpkins
Guest

Surely she still has a use?

Chris Weir
Guest

Jake Hacker you’re gonna need a bigger van lol!!! ?

Jake Hacker
Guest

Hahahaha serious amount of aspestos in Those ships I think lpl