Sunderland’s adopted warship is to be decommissioned in 2018

Picture: HMS Ocean docks in Sunderland.
Picture: HMS Ocean docks in Sunderland.

The flagship of the Royal Navy fleet is to be decommissioned in 2018 after undergoing a £65m upgrade in 2014.

The HMS Ocean, which visited Sunderland in early May, will be reaching the end of its service in the Royal Navy as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirms its decommission.

The MoD Spokesperson said: “The ship was always due to reach the end of its service in 2018, we have now confirmed the date.”

The HMS Ocean was commissioned in September 1998 and will reach its 20-year life span by 2018.

The ship underwent a £65m refit in 2012-2014 which included new communications and IT systems.

MoD spokesperson said: “The refit will see the HMS Ocean through to the end of its service, ensuring it is fully configured.”

Sunderland Armed Forces Network Chairman Graham Hall, an ex-serviceman, will be sad to see the departure of yet another Royal Navy ship.

He said: “As an ex-serviceman I do not like to see our Armed Forces capability diminished.

“However, change is necessary and the Armed Forces needs to change to counteract the changing threats that we may encounter from those who would undermine our values and the way we live.”

As a historic maritime town, it was no surprise to Wearsiders to see the departure of their adopted ship.

Mr Hall said: “When HMS Ocean comes into port it is a major attraction. I hope that one of the new ships will be adopted in lieu of HMS Ocean and that link continues.”

With approximately 26,500 veterans of all ages in Sunderland, there will always be support for all armed forces.

The ship has been the flagship, the ship that holds the Commanding Officer of the Royal Navy since June 2015, taking over from the HMS Bulwark.

The HMS Ocean will be succeeded by the HMS Queen Elizabeth when she enters service.

Two new aircraft carriers, Type 26 warships and frigates, will be taking HMS Ocean’s place in the Royal Navy.

The HMS Ocean is currently deployed in the Mediterranean.

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