London: The British aircraft carrier HMS Invincible is being auctioned on an eBay-style site as part of a multi-million-pound sale of military hardware.
Potential buyers will need at least £5 million (Dh28.3 million) to become the proud owners of the 30-year-old warship of the Royal Navy.
But if they have got the cash, online shoppers can snap it up from the British Ministry of Defence website as easily as they buy their groceries, books and CDs.
All they need do is click on ‘Add to cart' at the website www.edisposals.com. The closing date for offers is January 5.
Invincible - from which Prince Andrew flew helicopters during the 1982 Falklands War - is the centrepiece of a ‘sale of the century' on the MoD's Disposal Services Authority website, which includes unwanted ships, aircraft and tanks. The sale is designed to reduce a £36 billion "black hole" in the MoD's finances.
"Vince", as the 17,000-ton carrier is affectionately known, has had its engines and propellers removed.
Pumps and other equipment are inoperable. But experts say it is worth about £5 million for scrap.
The advertisement says: "HMS Invincible is for sale by tender. Laid down in 1973 at Vickers Shipbuilding, Barrow-in-Furness, she was completed in 1980. She is stable for tow, subject to buyer confirmation."
One early bidder, Lea McMeekin, managing director of shipbreakers Port Millom in Cumbria, said he planned to break up the ship and sell it for scrap - or use it as a helicopter platform for the £15 billion new windfarm being built in the Irish Sea.
The MoD is expected to offer more ships for sale on the internet, including four Type 22 frigates and at least two minesweepers.
Meanwhile, the British army is to sell hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles and several Lynx Mk 7 helicopters. And the RAF is set to sell several military bases and a range of aircraft, including its Sentinel radar aircraft which cost £900 million three years ago.
— Daily Mail