UK helicopter carrier HMS Ocean starts final deployment before decommissioning

Royal Navy file photo of HMS Ocean at sea

Getting underway from Naval Base Plymouth on Tuesday, helicopter carrier HMS Ocean started her final deployment as a commissioned Royal Navy ship.

The fleet flagship – a role that will be taken by the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth – will be joining NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 in the Mediterranean as flagship.

HMS Ocean and her crew are expected to return home in December.

Currently the Royal Navy’s sole helicopter carrier, Ocean is set to be decommissioned next year and her role will be taken up by the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Commissioned in October 1995, the 202-meter long HMS Ocean replaced HMS Bulwark as fleet flagship in June 2015. In her role as a helicopter carrier and amphibious assault ship, Ocean is designed to deliver troops by helicopter or by landing craft.

After her decommissioning was announced, Brazilian media reports rumored the HMS Ocean could be sold to the Brazilian Navy for a “reasonable price”.

The UK defense ministry earlier said that ‘a number of options’ were still in play regarding the future of HMS Ocean adding that it was too early to talk about specifics.


5 thoughts on “UK helicopter carrier HMS Ocean starts final deployment before decommissioning”

  1. I have mixed emotions about this ship. I am always sorry to see another RN ship go but at the same time she was never an ideal warship. She was designed and built along commercial lines and always represented to me a carrier-on-the-cheap. She has given useful service but as is always the case it was thanks to the efforts of her crew more than the ship itself.

    1. I think as well, they need the crew for the QE. The bridge, deck, engineering and aircrews have been training with the Americans aboard the George HW Bush and with BAE Systems. But you are right Tony, it is with mixed emotions that I will see her go. I was surprised to see that she will be sold-off.

  2. Decommissioning Ocean is just the latest act of stupidity by the UK Government. The QE class are not designed to act as an Amphibious LPH and never will! We badly needed an LPH in 82 and Ocean was built as a result of a lesson learned and now forgotten

    1. Albion and Bulwark are amphibious transport dock ships, Both carry troops, normally Royal Marines, and vehicles up to the size of the Challenger 2 main battle tank. She can deploy these forces using four Landing Craft Utility (LCUs) and four Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVPs). A flight deck supports helicopter operations.

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