HMS Illustrious rides the Thames
PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:14 23 August 2010
A 22,500 tonne aircraft carrier has sailed up the River Thames into London for the Remembrance Sunday services, writes Ed Riley. HMS Illustrious moored in Greenwich on Tuesday after sailing along the Thames past Gravesend, the Queen Elizabeth Bridge and
A 22,500 tonne aircraft carrier has sailed up the River Thames into London for the Remembrance Sunday services, writes Ed Riley.
HMS Illustrious moored in Greenwich on Tuesday after sailing along the Thames past Gravesend, the Queen Elizabeth Bridge and the Thames Barrier.
The Portsmouth based warship will be the centrepiece of the Royal Navy's Remembrance services, with 50 sailors visiting St Paul's Cathedral this Sunday. The crew will also be participating in the Lord Mayor's show on Saturday.
Leading Seaman (CIS) Marc Seymour, 25, from Sittingbourne, is one of the ships crew, has been a member of the Navy for the last 10 years, and hopes to be taking part in this weekends Remembrance services.
He said: "It is a particularly important time for everyone in the military, and this year, being in London, I hope to be part of the parade.
"With colleagues out fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is important that we remember them this Sunday, and their families who will be without them.
"I am very proud to be part of the Navy and very proud to be associated with the services of Remembrance."
During her week long visit, a life sized replica of the brand new Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter, known as Lightning II will be displayed on the flight deck. The aircraft will fly from the two future aircraft carriers, the largest warships ever to be built in Britain which come into service in the middle of the next decade.
Affectionately called "Lusty" by her crew, HMS Illustrious is 209 metres long, and 36 metres wide.
At the beginning of this year she started a four month deployment to the Indian Ocean, during which time they took part in several operations with local Navies.
She is powered by four gas turbine Olympus engines, giving her a top speed of 30 knots. With a full crew on board, she holds 1000 people, and can be equipped with Harrier jump jets, Sea King surveillance helicopters and Chinook helicopters.
The ship will leave its mooring in Greenwich next Wednesday.
click here to view a picture gallery of HMS Illustrious.