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Read more about this story: Ghost ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Once they supported the Royal Navy with fuel and supplies all over the world, from the Falklands to the Gulf. Now they languish in Portsmouth Naval Base basin slowly rusting away, awaiting ethical disposal by the Ministry of Defence.
These sad looking ships are RFA Sir Galahad (replacement for RFA Sir Galahad lost in the Falklands conflict), RFA Oakleaf, RFA Brambleleaf, and RFA Grey Rover.
Why? Single Hulled Tanker legislation, ever since the Exxon Valdese and the awful oil spill in Alaska, these ships days have been numbered. Replacements for these ships have been in the planning stage for years, but with all the defence cuts will the RFA ever receive them?
Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS)
The MARS Integrated Project Team was established at the Ministry of Defence's Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) in July 2002 to conduct studies into the required capability for the MARS ships. Planned to procure about 11 replacement ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, at an estimated program cost of £2.5 billion.
The Main Gate for the project is expected to be September 2008, and the target date for the first ships to join the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service is 2011. We will have to wait and see.