H.M.S Illustrious R06
HMS Illustrious coming into portsmouth harbour
HMS Illustrious is the UK’s High Readiness Helicopter and Commando Carrier. This means that Illustrious can fulfil multiple taskings as demanded by higher authority. Duties could include the use of helicopters such as Merlin, Sea King, Lynx or Apache and Royal Marines Commandos. Illustrious and her Ship’s Company are fully prepared to respond to global operations at extremely short notice
This year has seen HMS Illustrious completed several exercises beginning with Exercise Cold Response in the Arctic Circle, Joint Warrior, which included the embarkation of 45 Commando, Royal Marines and Scottish Lion launching the Commandos ashore. Apaches from the deck of Illustrious also fired Hellfire Missiles in April for the first time in UK waters.
Illustrious – known affectionately by all aboard as Lusty – is due to pay off after 32 years’ proud and sterling service in 2014 to make way for the next-generation aircraft carriers