Tanker that will fuel navy’s new aircraft carriers arrive in Portsmouth

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A GIANT new tanker that will one day fuel the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers has sailed into Portsmouth.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s new vessel, RFA Tidespring, arrived in the city ahead of her dedication ceremony on November 27.

The ship enters Portsmouth Harbour

The ship enters Portsmouth Harbour

The 39,000-tonne tanker will be brought into service with the RFA – the civilian-manned fleet of support vessels which provide fuel, food and stores for Royal Navy warships all over the world.

Commodore Duncan Lamb, head of the RFA, said: ‘Tidespring’s arrival in Portsmouth today is an exciting milestone in the history of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She is a tangible demonstration of the success of the MARS Tanker project which is delivering first-class global support for a first-class global navy.’

The ship is one of three new, state-of-the-art Tide-class vessels that will one day assist the two, £3bn Queen Elizabeth-class carriers at sea.

They will replace the RFA’s ageing single-hulled tankers. Larger than their predecessors and double hulled, they are designed to provide fuel and water to the aircraft carriers.

They can also accommodate a Chinook helicopter on their flight decks.

The ships will be based out of Falmouth, in Cornwall.