A 32,000-ton French aircraft carrier is to be towed to Britain later this summer to be cut up for scrap.

A 32,000-ton French aircraft carrier is to be towed to Britain later this summer to be cut up for scrap. Able UK has been awarded a contract to recycle the Clemenceau, now known simply as Q790, at its facility at Graythorp on the River Tees.

Clemenceau is 238m long and sailed more than a million nautical miles during a 40-year naval career that ended in 1997. Plans to scrap her in 2005 in Spain or India fell through, but not before the ship had been towed all the way to the sub-continent and back.

Work on the Clemenceau will be the biggest ship recycling project so far handled by any European yard.