HMS Invincible (finally up for sale)

Now it turns out that I am old enough to remember Australia’s attempt to purchase the HMS Invincible aircraft carrier from Britain in the early 1980s. During the sales process, Thatcher deployed it to the Falkland’s war and I remember wondering whether it would survive that event for Australia. It turns out it did and, so much so, that it was no longer for sale by the end of it.

Now it turns out that it is up for sale. Yes it is 30 years later but I am pretty sure we could have it for a song.

8 thoughts on “HMS Invincible (finally up for sale)”

  1. This would be a classic example for your students of Guns vs Butter. Do you really think an aircraft carrier at any price is good value for Australia?


  2. Perhaps the Chinese will be in the market. They picked up a decommissioned Soviet Navy aircraft carrier, the Varyag – in a similar state of disrepair – for the bargain basement price of USD20m. (ref. Wikipedia)

    If a foreign navy is determined to build a carrier force then having a ready-made hull for around that price would seem a bargain – notwithstanding the hundreds of millions (?) of dollars that would be required to make it operational.


  3. Yes – buying old ships is cheap, but running them is definitely not (which is, of course, precisely why you can buy them cheap). They’re a bit like old luxury cars that way.

    Though I do see in the “Defence” supplement of the Fin Review today that the admirals are making one last play for a prestige toy for themselves. I hope the government treats it with the contempt it deserves.


  4. Very true – other nations free ride. However, the only problem is that the Americans may decide that it is not in their interests to come to the party ?


  5. The same arguments apply now – even more so – as they did then. If a carrier we must have then we need three for the force element to be effective. and then there’s all the ships that are needed to protect it, the air wing to make use of it etc. Spend the money on something more effective. Time has moved on from the 1980’s. forget it.


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