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HMS Ocean is the only currently active serving aircraft carrier in the fleet of the Royal Navy. She is fully equipped with helicopters and landing craft for a full scale amphibious landing force on an British colonial island inhabited by natives somewhere in the Carribean to deal with the aftermath of a hurricane. If the UK ever was placed in a World War situation in this modern age she could easily field an assault of 400 marines on an enemy beach with predicted enemy forces numbering 20,000 men along that coastline, supported by 18 helicopters off HMS Ocean combined with all the other landing assault ships in the Royal Naval fleet (HMS Bulwark) this marine force could be increased up to 800 men with 20 helicopters, more than enough to deal with, say, the whole might of the Chinese military.
HMS Ocean was originally designed as a ferry. This was a government trick on the company who was building HMS Ocean as the government ordered a "military ferry" as it was cheaper than an aircraft carrier. Then once the money was handed over half-way through construction the government suddenly declared that the ferry needed lots of space on the top deck to park the cars of the people traveling in the ferry. The contractors fell for this and built the landing strip without knowing it. The government then quickly took it away from the ship-builders and anounced that they were launching a new aircraft carrier.
Immediatly after her launch, the Royal navy encountered a problem with Ocean's design. In the original plans the Royal Navy had layed out, there was supposed to be a giant aircraft hanger that took up most of the deck below the flight deck that would be used to store planes when they weren't being used, however, this had been changed half-way through construction, through the ship builder's consent, into a giant multi-story car park to hold more cars for the ferry. Also the ski-ramp used for the planes to take off from on the flight deck had been removed to make space for disabled parking.
The Ministry of Defence faced an embarrasing situation and it would take the greatest minds in the civil service to think of a way to bluff out of the government's wastage of money and birdbrained thinking. A week after the launch of the ship the MOD came up with a devious solution to fool the taxpayer. This was no "aircraft carrier" that they had built, it was a "helicopter platform assualt ship". It was the first of its kind. The huge multi-story car park was ample space to store all 17 tanks in the British army and 400 men. The flat flight deck with no ramp was perfect for helicopter landings and so the new class of ship (never before seen in this world before or since) for HMS Ocean was completely justified.
HMS Ocean's role is to sit around in British harbour's near the entrance to the harbour, all tidy and clean, to look like the government still cares about defending the island with a navy that has an aircraft carrier. It is not allowed out of the port into the big wide world as it might get damaged and then Britain would be left without a helicopter carrier.
In war time she would be used to land an assualt force of 400 marines on a beach along with 20 helicopters. This is helped by the fact that the ship has a huge door at the back of the ship for the landing craft to be deployed from. This door can only stay open for five minutes before the water all pours in and the ship sinks.
edit Operational History
In 2008 HMS Ocean received the Portsmouth honour to add to their crest. This honour was presented to them by the Duke of York for staying in Portsmouth harbour for so long and continuing to defend the harbour against the threat of Viking raids along the South Coast which as of yet still have not occured. The government assured the nation that this threat is very real and that it is because of this threat that HMS Ocean must not leave harbour because if it does the Vikings/Pirates/Normons will take this as an oppurtunity to invade immediatly.
In 2011 HMS Ocean was definitely not sent to Libya in response to the Arab Spring and the Uprisings against Colonel Gaddafi. This was merely a rumour sent around by the media to make the Ministry of Defence's policies and strategies look absurd. An example of this absurdity being when a group of SAS soldiers were captured by Gadaffi forces when flying in a helicopter from HMS Ocean over Libya, however this event never occured. HMS Ocean did not send helicopters to fly over Libya to ]fire missiles into the Libyan government's military installations. HMS Ocean never went anywhere near Libya and Britain provided no military support at all for the Libyan rebels.
In 2012 HMS Ocean attempted the most dangerous and fearful operation that the ship had ever undertaken. Nicknamed, "Operation Impossible," by the Lord High Admiral at the time as he sat laughing so hard at his joke. The idea was to get HMS Ocean up the Thames to support the Mayor of London in squashing the "plebs" by using the ships helicopters to gun down any revolting underclasses. To be able to get up the Thames the Ocean had to fit through the Thames Barrier. The "Thames Barrier Manouver" is the official most dangerous manouver in Modern times that a Royal Navy ship has had to face. HMS Ocean scraped past the gates and made it through, saving the Royal Navy a few hundred million pounds.
edit War Capability
HMS Ocean is technically capable to be able to go to war. However in practice this may be very different as HMS Ocean has no been sailed for a while thanks to the recent rise in fuel costs. The Ocean can be ready for war in 30 days after being called for action. This gives the Navy enough time to conduct raids ashore to kidnap the crew and sign the UK Border Agency leaflets before leaving harbour.
She is capable of conducting air operations in a war situation as long as there is a gentle breeze and a swell of maximum half a metre. She has no anti-air, anti-submarine or anti-ship protection and requires a destroyer to escort her.
HMS Ocean can carry 18 Linx or Merlin helicopters or 10 Chinook helicopters. These helicopters are easily out-manouvered by super sonic jets and can be destroyed in seconds. The Military of Defence has recently admitted in a classified report that was leaked to the media that helicopters are useless in naval combat situations and that their only role now is to search for submarines or transport men. Therefore in a combat situation there is no point in having helicopters. HMS Ocean's only fighting capability in a combat situation is to sit there like a duck and provide a target for the incoming jet fighters.
edit Other Weaponry
The other weapons, apart from those on the aircraft, that HMS Ocean brandishes are four miniguns and a phallanx. These are primitive weapons designed to defend the ship in case of pirate attack or fighter jet attack, which are both very unlikely attacks, the attack that HMS Ocean is expecting to encounter and defend against is an enemy ship coming up along side and giving the broadside.
The miniguns are machine guns put on the sides to deter pirates. When fired at an enemy vessel, they can cause a great amount of stress to the enemy with bullets bouncing off the armour of the enemy ship and no damage done whatsoever. The miniguns are also good fun for target practice and are mainly there so that sailors can fire big guns at imaginary enemies in practice battles.
The phallanx weapon was designed to be replaced with the goalkeeper in 2003 but due to lack of government funding this was never fully achieved. So HMS Ocean was left with the phallanx anti-aircraft gun remembered well for doing a great job of protecting the British destroyers in the Falklands War from Argentine air attacks as the destroyers sank to their graves. It is the most modern version of a maxim gun and blasts hundreds of rounds of bullets roughly in the direction of incoming jet fighters, until it jams after 50 odd rounds.