Dunno why they go on about Ark Royal and razor blades

After a quarter of a century of service, Ark Royal – the fifth vessel to bear a name that dates back to victory over the Spanish Armada – will shortly be reduced to tin cans and razor blades.

You most certainly don\’t take a ship apart and then cut it into little bits for razor blades. And ships tend to be carbon steel, while razor blades are high chromium steel. So it\’s not even the same type of steel.

The chunks of the Ark Royal will be melted down and then, perhaps, maybe, that melt might have chrome added to it which then goes off to the specialist factories that make the strip suitable for making into razor blades. But it\’s a very, very, tenuous link.

5 comments on “Dunno why they go on about Ark Royal and razor blades

  1. Wasn’t it always plowshares weaponry was beaten into? Oh well. Smaller Navy, less ambitious aims. Presume an adequate proportion will be pink disposables for equalty’s sake.

  2. Not having read the article, but probably not even that – most warships are stripped of machinery, the hulls preserved, and then left in a graveyard in case they’re needed again for decades before selling the hull is even considered.

  3. @Agammamon,

    Not any more – probably the deathknell of keeping RN ships around “just in case” was HMS Bulwark, a.k.a. “Rusty B”. When they explored her in 1982 to see if she could be made seaworthy again for CORPORATE, the assessment was that it would be quicker and cheaper to buy a new ship than to make the Rusty B fit to sail again. (And that was after only a couple of years alongside in Portsmouth as a parts queen for Hermes)

    Similarly, the handful of old Type 42 destroyers rotting along the North-West Wall in Portsmouth at the moment are waiting for decisions on who’s buying them for scrap, and whether one or more will be used as an artificial reef, diving attraction or live-fire weapons test; there’s no way at all any of them will go back to sea in any operational capability.

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