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Tuesday, 6 October 2009


HMS Illustrious passing Gourock, she was taking part in the Joint Warrior 09 exercise.

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.

Thanks to the Royal Navy for the above information.

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