HMS Ark Royal auction sale deadline extended

HMS Ark Royal
Image caption Some want to turn HMS Ark Royal into a casino, others a dive wreck

The deadline for the sale of HMS Ark Royal has been extended because of high levels of interest.

The Royal Navy's former flagship aircraft carrier went up for auction in March, and potential buyers had until Monday to submit their tenders.

But that has been extended to 6 July by the Defence Equipment and Support agency, which equips the armed forces.

Proposals include selling the ship for scrap metal, transforming it into a casino and sinking it for a dive wreck.

Other possibilities include turning it into a heliport in London or a base for special forces during next year's Olympic Games.

The Ark Royal, currently at Portsmouth Naval Base in Hampshire, is being advertised on the MoD auction website

Its sister ship - HMS Invincible - was towed to a scrapyard in Turkey after being sold on the same website.

Ark Royal's operations have included leading the UK's naval forces during the invasion of Iraq.

The current ship is the fifth vessel to carry the name - the first saw battle in 1588 against the Spanish Armada.

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