Celebration as mighty new tug is named

Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Pictute: LPhot Ioan Roberts

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A TUG which will one day pull the largest warships ever built by the Royal Navy into Portsmouth has been named.

More than 300 people – including navy top brass – watched as a champagne bottle was smashed across the bow of SD Tempest at Portsmouth Naval Base.

The vessel is the newest part of the fleet built by Serco, that will one day guide the 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, home.

She was the 31st vessel to be built for Serco by Damen Shipyards and first sailed into Portsmouth in February.

Since then she has been working alongside the navy as part of its preparations for the arrival of the HMS Queen Elizabeth later this year, completing a range of sea trials and facility tests.

Rupert Soames, Serco’s group chief executive, said SD Tempest was ‘a powerful addition’ to the fleet and that he was ‘looking forward to seeing her shepherd HMS Queen Elizabeth into Portsmouth harbour’.