Marines: Carrier Converted to Amphibious Use


October 5, 2006: After a $47 million refit, the British carrier Ark Royal went back to sea. The Ark Royal refit added improved communications, and the refurbishment of many worn mechanical and electrical systems. The 22,000 ton, 21 year old ship carries 24 aircraft and helicopters, and is run by a crew of 1200. The most notable aspect of the refit was the addition of accommodations for up to 600 marines. This makes the Ark Royal into an amphibious carrier, being able to deliver the marines via helicopter, or boats. The refit enables the Ark Royal to stay in service for another nine years. By then, the first of the 65,000 ton Queen Elizabeth class carriers should be entering service.


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