Friday, August 05, 2005

HMS Invincible Is "Retired" From The Royal Navy

HMS Invincible
Conservatives have warned that the decommissioning of the Royal Navy's flagship aircraft carrier HMS Invincible will undermine the UK's maritime capability at a time of unprecedented international tension. After 25 years service, including a leading combat role in the 1982 Falklands War, the warship is to be mothballed until it can be sold off by 2010. However, Invincible's "retirement" leaves the Royal Navy with just two aircraft carriers, HMS Illustrious and HMS Ark Royal - and the latter is undergoing a full refit, and will remain unavailable for service for some time. Commenting on the latest reduction in Britain's military capability, which has left the navy relying on a single carrier, Shadow Defence Minister Gerald Howarth said: "To be downgrading our maritime capability at a time of unprecedented international tension is just unbelievable. We are now left with only two aircraft carriers and a dire situation when one of these is undergoing refit or is in dock, as is currently the case. It simply beggars belief." He told reporters "The paying off of HMS Invincible is being done on the promise that new aircraft carriers are scheduled to be available in 2012 and 2015. But it is now looking increasingly unlikely that the new carriers will be ready on time, which means that the foundation of the Government's expeditionary warfare strategy will be missing. "This is yet another capability gap wilfully created by a government determined to gamble with our Armed Forces."
HMS Invincible Sailor

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