Ark Royal will be cut up for scrap in £3m MoD deal

The former Royal Navy flagship HMS Ark Royal will be sold as scrap metal for £3m, as part of a process that the Ministry of Defence has described as "difficult but necessary".

An announcement in Parliament today is expected to reveal the details of the deal after the vessel was decommissioned in 2010, five years ahead of schedule.

The decision follows a bidding process which included proposals to turn the 22,000-ton aircraft carrier into a helipad on the Thames, a museum, a hotel, a casino or a diving wreck. An MoD spokesman said yesterday: "Retiring her five years earlier than planned was a difficult but necessary decision to help address the multi-billion-pound defence deficit and deliver a balanced MoD budget."