News Release issued by
the COI News Distribution Service on 24 September 2009
A faster, leaner
and greener HMS Ark Royal takes to the seas again tomorrow
(Friday) for the first time since February.
The aircraft carrier has just undergone a £12m upgrade in her
home port of Portsmouth and is about to embark on two weeks of
She is heading to the Royal Navy’s training areas off the south
west of England for marine and weapon engineering trials.
During the upgrade her hull was painted with new ‘intersleek’
paint – allowing her to cut through the seas more quickly - which
will cut fuel costs and emissions by nine percent. It will also
increase her top speed by two knots to 30 knots.
The work, carried out by BVT Surface Fleet, also included new
exhaust systems, an updated IT network and improvements to sewage
treatment plants. Her gearboxes, main engines and diesel
generators have also been refurbished.
Ark Royal will resume her role as Fleet Flagship in the New Year,
taking over from her sister ship HMS Illustrious which took on the
honour during Ark Royal’s upgrade. She will also become the UK’s
high-readiness ‘Strike Carrier’.
The ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain John Clink, said: “The
ship’s company is excited and proud to be taking Ark Royal back to
sea to commence our preparations to become the Royal Navy’s Strike
Carrier and the UK’s Fleet Flagship.
“I recognise that our seven months in Portsmouth has been hard
work but it has ensured that we are ready to start our sea
training and be able to practice our war-fighting skills. The ship
is now faster, leaner and greener and looking forward to taking
her place at the Vanguard of the Fleet.”
Note to editors:
For media wishing to film/photograph HMS Ark Royal’s departure
from Portsmouth Naval Base on September 25, she will be passing
the Round Tower, Old Portsmouth, at approximately 10.35am.
Ministry of Defence