HMS Illustrious Conducts RAS with French Tanker

HMS Illustrious Conducts RAS with French Tanker

Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious has held a Replenishment-At-Sea (RAS) with a French tanker as she continues her passage through the Mediterranean. The Portsmouth-based ship had to travel in close proximity – around 50 metres – to the FS Somme to allow fuel lines to pass from the tanker to Illustrious.

A delicate operation, this required tight control over the movement of the ship to avoid any stress on the lines and breaking the procedure.

Usually practised by the Royal Navy with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – this saw international partnership working in action with the sailors overcoming any language barriers to get the job done.

HMS Illustrious, an amphibious helicopter and commando carrier, is part of the Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group and is deployed with the Cougar 13 Task Group

This is a versatile, flexible and scalable force which stands at very high readiness and is prepared to react to any contingency dictated by the UK government.

During the four-month exercise, which includes three other warships and six RFAs, Illustrious will undertake international engagement and bilateral training with strategic partners throughout the Mediterranean and Gulf region.
Press Release, August 21, 2013; Image: Royal Navy