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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 October 2006, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Navy ship back after 20m refit
HMS Ark Royal (courtesy of the Royal Navy) returning to Portsmouth
The Ark Royal will now be put through a series of sea trials
The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal has returned to its home base in Hampshire following a 20m refit.

The 20,000-tonne warship arrived at Portsmouth Naval Base on Saturday morning having undergone the two-year upgrade at Rosyth in Scotland.

More than 1,000 people lined the dockside to welcome the Ark Royal back.

The refit enables her to carry the Army Apache attack helicopter along with the RAF Chinook helicopters and the Navy's anti-submarine helicopters.

The vessel has undergone major upgrades of its communication systems and electronic charting.

It has also received a towed sonar decoy system for defence against submarines and has been fitted with a new mast.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: "It is planned that HMS Ark Royal will remain in service until the Royal Navy's new, larger carriers are due to enter service in the next decade."

The Navy plans to replace its whole fleet of aircraft carriers in 2012.




SEE ALSO
Rosyth clinches Ark Royal contract
17 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Ceremony greets new navy flagship
04 Aug 05 |  Hampshire
Navy to have one aircraft carrier
06 Jul 05 |  UK Politics
New naval flagship greets Queen
28 Jun 05 |  Hampshire

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