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HMS Invincible - light aircraft carrier, Porthsmouth, England

February 26th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

HMS Invincible (R05) is a light aircraft carrier, the lead ship of three in her class.

She was built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering. She was laid down in 1973, and launched on 3 May 1977. The ship commissioned on July 11, 1980, and joined the older carriers Hermes and Bulwark in service. Invincible was intended for sale to the Royal Australian Navy as a replacement for HMAS Melbourne (when she would likely have been renamed HMAS Australia). However, Invincible's central role in the Falklands War led to the sale being cancelled.

After 25 years of service she sailed into Portsmouth Naval Base for the last time on 1 August 2005 [1]. HMS Illustrious succeeded Invincible as the service's flagship.

The carrier's air group comprised nine Harriers and twelve helicopters (usually all Sea Kings, either ASW or AEW variants). The carriers also provide an operational headquarters for the RN task force. The runway is 170 m long and includes the characteristic "ski jump" (initially 7° it was later increased to 12°).

For defence the carrier has a number of systems. She originally had two 20 mm Raytheon Phalanx close in weapon systems, but these were upgraded to three Thales 30mm Goalkeeper CIWS; they also have two Oerlikon 20 mm cannons. Countermeasures are provided by a Thales jamming sytem and ECM system, Seagnat launchers provide for chaff or flare decoys. Initially the carriers were also armed with a Sea Dart SAM missile system, but these were removed in order to increase the flight deck size and to allow magazine storage for Royal Air Force Harrier GR7s.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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