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Welcome to the website of the UK Strike Carrier, HMS Illustrious.

We aim to provide you with web pages that are up to date, informative and interesting, giving you information and insight into our Ship, her people, and what it is that we do. 

Whether you’re visiting our site as family or friends of our Ship’s Company wishing to keep up to date with our programme, or if you’re keeping abreast of our activities out of general interest, please do take the time to explore and learn more about HMS Illustrious.  We hope you visit regularly to keep abreast of our tasking and achievements.

If there is anything that you feel you would like to know, or that you would like to see on our website, please do get in touch to let us know, and if we can, we’ll help.

HMS Illustrious is the second of three Invincible Class Aircraft carriers, and the fifth ship to bear her proud name.  Illustrious, or ‘Lusty’ as she is known fondly by all on board, was built at Swan Hunters Ship Builders Yard on the Tyne, and subsequently commissioned in her base port of Portsmouth in 1982.

In terms of her ‘vital statistics’, Illustrious is an impressive 209m long, with a beam of 36m and a displacement of 22,000 tonnes.  She has 1400 compartments and 15 lifts, and she is powered by 4 Gas Turbine Olympus engines (a marinised version of Concorde's), giving her a top speed in excess of 30 knots.  With a Tailored Air Group embarked she has a full complement of over 1000 people, and can operate with a range of both rotary and fixed wing aircraft from the Harrier GR9 to troop-carrying Chinooks.  Her roles can vary widely, and include everything from Maritime Strike to Evacuation Operations; all of which she has ably demonstrated herself to be very much capable of fulfilling.  

The Ship’s motto, “Vox Non Incerta”, comes from a quote in the bible, specifically Corinthians I, Ch.14 v.8, which reads: "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"  The motto then, means “No Uncertain Sound”, and suits Illustrious extremely well. 

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