Keepsake Aircraft Carrier Offer Sought
British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious is due to retire in 2014 & Defence seek proposals from organisations interested in preserving the warship.
HMS Invincible, HMS Illustrious and HMS Ark Royal came into service in the early 1980s and have spent the last thirty years protecting the UK's interests across the world.
The last of the ships to be decommissioned, HMS Illustrious played a key role in the Falkland Islands, Iraq and Bosnia and is due to retire from the Royal Navy in 2014.
Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:
"It is important that we preserve the legacy of the Royal Navy's Invincible Class aircraft carriers. When the last of these - HMS Illustrious - retires from the Royal Navy, we would like to see her preserved as a legacy to the work she, Invincible and Ark Royal have done to protect the UK over three decades.
"We would be keen to seek innovative proposals from a range of organisations, including private sector companies, charities and trusts.
As the out of service date for HMS Illustrious approaches, the MOD will look to industry to provide viable proposals to keep her available for future private use in a different capacity while still offering taxpayers good value for money.