HMS Illustrious returns home after NATO training crash

Royal Navy helicopter carrier arrives into Portsmouth following collision

HMS Illustrious was damaged by a tug during a training exercise off Norway on 9

March, whilst taking part in Operation Cold Response. As she sailed into

Portsmouth yesterday, two small holes could be seen in the hull of the 686ft

(209m) ship.

According to the BBC, a Royal Navy spokesperson

said that engineers carried out temporary repairs at the time of the incident.

The ship continued its participation in the exercise before returning home for

full repairs.

In 2011, Illustrious underwent a £40 million refit to modify her from a traditional

fixed-wing carrier to a helicopter-only type.

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Operation Cold Response is a Norwegian-led

winter exercise to rehearse high intensity operations within NATO. In a

separate incident, A C-130J Hercules plane crashed whilst on its way to the

north of Sweden. The plane has been found and, according to a statement on the

military website, a rescue operation has been changed to a search for deceased.