For sale: aircraft carrier, one owner

The Royal Navy's former flagship HMS Ark Royal went on sale on the Ministry of Defence's auction website yesterday, just two weeks after she was decommissioned.

The website, www.edisposals.com, is also offering three destroyers, HMS Exeter, HMS Southampton and HMS Nottingham.

Viewings for Ark Royal will be held at HM Naval Base Portsmouth on 3 and 4 May while bidders have until 10am on 13 June to put their tenders forward. No price was listed. Buyers are being asked to give a brief outline of their intentions before qualifying for a viewing.

Launched in 1981, Ark Royal has been retired five years early as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

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