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HMS Ark Royal

Invincible Class Aircraft Carrier

Ark Royal The Rock Show

Bob Geldof performs on Ark Royal The Rock Show - 26th October 1986.

HMS Ark Royal Ship's Programme 1986

Some dates may be approximate. If you are able to provide more accurate information or to correct an error then please email us.




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January 1986

January - At sea for 909 and ADAWS trials.



February 1986

February -  Visit to Amsterdam.

20th February - Operational Date Material Assessment.

24th February - Commence Basic Operation Sea Training (BOST) at Portland.



March 1986

20th March - Final Thursday War - BOST complete.

21st March - Portsmouth. Easter leave commences.



April 1986

7th April - Day at sea for live broadcast of BBC's Pebble Mill at 1, guest Samantha Fox. Radio 2 presenters including Ken Bruce, Jimmy Young and Gloria Hunniford also broadcast their shows live from the ship off the Isle of Wight.

8th April - Private visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

9th - 22nd April - At sea for Air Group Work Up.

23rd April - Operational Readiness Inspection.

24th April - Portsmouth. Commence Base-Assisted Maintenance Period (to include fitting of the ship's Vulcan Phalanx weapons systems). Summer leave commences.



May 1986

May - BAMP and Summer Leave.



June 1986

2nd - 6th June - At sea. Shakedown.

6th June - Portsmouth. Preparations for deployment.

17th June - Sail for WESTLANT deployment.

19th - 27th June - Exercise LIBERTY TRAIN.

28th June - Arrive New York City.



July 1986

2nd July - Sail from New York to regroup with escorts.

3rd July - Ceremonial re-entry into New York Harbour as part of an international fleet. Anchor.

4th July - International Fleet Review and official re-opening of the Statue of Liberty by President Ronald Reagan.

9th July - Depart from New York.

10th - 21st July - Anti-submarine warfare exercises.

23rd - 30th July - Visit to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for Short Maintenance Period (SMP) and station leave.

31st July - Commence trials at the AUTEC Ranges, Andros Island, Bahamas.



August 1986

7th August - Trials at AUTEC Ranges complete.

9th - 15th August - Visit to Norfolk, Virginia.

15th - 29th August - Exercise NORTHERN ENGAGEMENT.

29th August - Exercise NORTHERN WEDDING commences.



September 1986

19th September - Exercise NORTHERN WEDDING ends.

22nd - 26th September - Visit to Amsterdam.

27th September - Portsmouth for Short Maintenance period.



October 1986

13th October - Sail from Portsmouth.

13th - 23rd October - Exercise AUTUMN TRAIN.

23rd October - Arrive in Gibraltar to prepare ship for the Rock Show.

26th October - Recording of Ark Royal The Rock Show on the flight deck. Stars performing on board are Cyndi Lauper, Alison Moyet, Bob Geldof and Paul Young.

27th October - Sail from Gibraltar.

30th October - Arrive in Lisbon for informal visit and embarkation of Dutch marines. 



November 1986

3rd November - Depart Lisbon.

3rd - 13th November - Exercise HIGH TIDE.

14th - 19th November - Informal visit to Hamburg.

20th November - Portsmouth for maintence period and Christmas leave.



December 1986

25th December - Broadcast of Ark Royal The Rock Show on ITV.



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Reunion Dinner 2019