Potential Buyers Get First Look At Axed Warship

3 May 2011, 11:11 | Updated: 3 May 2011, 11:14

Potential buyers for the Royal Navy's former flagship, Portsmouth based HMS Ark Royal, are being shown around the axed warship today (3rd May).

Just two weeks after the aircraft carrier was decommissioned at its home port of Portsmouth Naval Base in March, the Ark Royal was advertised on the Ministry of Defence's auction website, edisposals.com.

The sale follows that of its sister ship HMS Invincible, which was towed away to a scrapyard in Turkey after being sold on the same internet site.

Although the Ark Royal could also be sold for its scrap metal, other proposals for it include a commercial heliport in London as well as a base for Special Forces to provide security at next year's Olympic Games. Other ideas for it include turning it into a nightclub and school in China.

Bidders have until 10am on June 13th to put their tenders forward for the ship.

Only those who have registered an interest on edisposals.com by submitting an outline of their ‘intentions regarding the vessel’ were being given tours of the ship.

A Navy spokesman said: “The sale of Ark Royal is ongoing and potential bidders are visiting the ship today and tomorrow.”

The website edisposals.com is run by the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) arm of the MoD, which has a budget of £14 billion to equip the UK's armed forces.