Commission of 1973/1976
HMS Ark Royal 1974-1976
- 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