November 1973. Captain Gerard-Pearse assumed command while the ship was in Dry Dock in Devonport Dockyard
Sailed Devonport in July 1974 in the role of "To maintain NATO's Maritime Force in the North Atlantic".
Captain Graham assumes Command
Ship deploys and participates in Ex Northern Merger 1974 off Norway. Ex Springtrain1975 off Gibraltar and private flyex's visiting Gibraltar and Malta
Further deployment to the West Atlantic and participation in Ex Safepass 1976 off Virginia and private flyex's visiting Norfolk, Mayport and Fort Lauderdale for the American bi-centennial celebrations.
Further private flyex's in the Caribbean. The Phantom F4K's of 892 Sqn conducted Missile Firings in the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Range off Puerto Rico.
Visits to Virgin Gorda and St Thomas followed the Missile firings and the ship then sailed for official ceremonial visits to Barbados and Rio de Janerio.
Deployment complete the Royal Navy's largest ship returned to Devonport for leave.
Ex Ocean Safari 1976 off Norway. Change of ships command 25th September 1976 off Scotland. Captain E.R. Anson assumes command.
Passage to Lisbon. Full divisions in tropical whites.
Visit Gibraltar and Ex Display Determination with USN Carriers Nimitz and America, and French Carrier Clemenceau
FONAC. Admiral Eberle transfers to USS America by Phantom F4K of 892 Sqn. Pilot Lt Martyn H. Dean. Returns to HMS Ark Royal by same method after exercise briefings.
Visit Toulon French Navy Base 13th/18th October 1976
18th October sail Toulon. Air group disembarks to home bases. With the loss of their historical home base RNAS Yeovilton, 892 Squadron's Phantom F4K's return to RAF Leuchars in Fife.
Ship immediately commences preparation for the refit in Devonport. Dockyard maintenance crews are embarked to commence work on the catapults during passage.
Refit at Devonport October 1976 to June 1977
13th December 1976 ship is moved from Outer Wall to Number 10 Dry Dock
Sub Surface refit complete she is floated 28th February 1977