HMS Albion has been named as the UK Royal Navy’s new flagship, taking over the role from HMS Ark Royal, which will be decommissioned in January 2011.

The 176m-long, 8,000t assault ship has a displacement capacity of 21,500t and can cruise at speeds of 18kt.

The warship, built by BAE, and is a landing platform dock ship of the Royal Navy, belonging to the Albion class.

The ship was primarily designed as an amphibious warfare ship. It is capable of accommodating a crew of 256, can carry various armoured vehicles and is equipped with a flight deck that can operate two helicopters.

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The ship is used to attend incidents around the world and transported people during the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud disruption in April 2010.