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HMS ARK ROYAL

HMS ARK ROYAL

HMS ARK ROYAL in company with HMS HAMPSHIRE and a Fearless class Assault Ship
MOD photo Negative Dated Feb 1975
©MOD

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If the date is correct, this is Hampshire's final commission, she is with Fearless, Ark, Tartar, RFA Olwen and Resource on route to US base at Roosevelt Roads then onto the fleet weapons range where Hampshire fired Sea Slugs. During this deployment in April it was announced Hampshire would be withdrawn from service, the reason given being that she was unmodernised and had a high manpower requirement.
 

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Not sure how true, but when HAMPSHIRE's early retirement was announced, there was a 'rumour' that she had a significant structural problem with her hull.
 

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i cant find any evidence of structural problems or any mechanical issues. At the time the UK government were very concerned about manpower, with the introduction of the type 42 and Invincible class under build there was concern as to how to plug manpower gaps, by now all four batch 1 Counties were been offered for foreign sales, the cost of upgrading them even to match the batch 2 standard was high and with the knowledge that the Sea Dart was a far more effective missile system it probably was a sensible decision. Kent had spent a long time as a sea going training ship in between operational jaunts, likewise the other three were on the discrete sales list. Within a few years all batch 1's were in reserve of under sales negotiations.
 

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Royal Navy Ships
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