The UK MoD has invited tenders for the decommissioned Type 42 destroyers Exeter, Nottingham and Southampton via its Disposal Services Agency auction website. This follows the successful sale of the former HMS Invincible by the same method in January. The aircraft carrier was sold for an undisclosed sum to Leyal Ship Dismantling and Recycling, based at Aliaga, near Izmir. The same scrapyard was also contracted to dispose of the Type 42 destroyers Cardiff, Glasgow and Newcastle in 2009 and more recently the former RFA tanker Oakleaf.
The Turkish bid was selected ahead of a widely publicised £5 million offer from a UK-based Chinese businessman, who wanted to convert the warship into an international school in China. Despite a lower return for the tax-payer, the MoD went for the more ethical option of scrapping the 30-year-old vessel at an approved facility that meets strict environmental practices criteria. Around 97 per cent of the material of the previous ships sent for disposal was recycled.