A carrier-less Royal Navy

HMS Ark Royal was today formally decommissioned in a ceremony in Portsmouth dockyard.

Here’s a poser – when was the last time that the Royal Navy was completely without a conventional strike carrier flying fixed-wing aircraft? I’ve got an idea when, but interesting to see what you guys come up with!

Have a good air-cover-less weekend everyone!

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19 Comments

Filed under Navy

19 responses to “A carrier-less Royal Navy

  1. x

    The Royal Navy has always had air cover from the Lord’s angels!

  2. John Erickson

    Can I be silly and say “before World War 1?”
    I’m sure it’s more recent, but I’m not feeling up to the research. Darn left shoulder hurts so bad, the left-hand little finger keeps tingling. (Don’t worry, I know the signs of a heart attack. Besides, I’m too young and good-looking to die. Well, too young… :D)
    So tell me, how many dozen ships does the UK have off Japan? I figure we muffed Libya, maybe we can get something to Japan, since we have bases and a WHOLE DAMN ISLAND nearby! Okay, HALF an island. (Sorry, my frustration level with our Prez is approaching that of yours with your Government’s defence plans.)

  3. 1978 to 1979/80 in between getting rid of the old ARK ROYAL and the introduction of INVINCIBLE?

    That was a gap of less than two years.

    Otherwise, it is before the First World War.

    • James Daly

      That’s what I thought. We had Hermes as a commando carrier and Bulwark in mothballs. But at least then we knew that we had three ships on the way.

  4. Dar Williamson

    SHOCKING…..
    With all my time in the Andrew, I nbever thought that I would see the day, when we HAD NO FLEET????????
    No Force’s, No Defence, No HOPE……

    This country is GOING DOWN THE PAN, & FAST.

  5. James Daly

    I’ve gone through the list of RN Carriers on Wikipedia, and it does seem that since HMS Argus entered service early in the twentieth century the only time Britain has been completely without a strike carrier was the gap between the old Ark Royal and when Invincible entered service. But at least then we still had Hermes and Bulwark in service, albeit as Commando Carriers. Hermes was refitted as a Harrier Carrier to give cover until the Invincibles were all in service.

    At least then we knew that ships were due to come on stream, and we had other forms of carriers we could use if need be. Not now.

    One of the saddest things about The Royal Navy immediately post-war is how many fine ships ordered during the war were scrapped with only around 10 years service, including a number of decent carriers.

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