Britain will be left without an aircraft carrier capable of launching jets for the next decade as the navy is all set to decommission its flagship, HMS Ark Royal, next month.
The country will have no carrier strike capability until the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier enters service in 2020.
Ark Royal has been axed three years early as part of the 8% defence spending cuts of the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, introduced in October by the country’s coalition government to control Britain’s record deficit.
The 210m-long Invincible class light aircraft carrier has a displacement capacity of 22,000t, can cruise at a speed of more than 30kt and can accommodate a crew of 685.
The British Government has plans to bridge the ten-year gap by using foreign bases and overfly rights if required, according to Agence France Presse.
The UK Ministry of Defence has said that the warship would either be sold, scrapped or recycled, or could be moored into a museum.