Sunderland's adopted warship is to be to be decommissioned.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that HMS Ocean's active life will end in 2018, despite the the "flagship of the Royal Navy" having undergone a multi-million pound refit just a year ago.
The Mod is insisting it was always the plan that Ocean would reach the end of her active service in 2018, but the Devonport-based helicopter carrier and assault ship underwent a £65million upgrade in 2014.
Speaking before the refit, Defence Minister Philip Dunne said it would ensure "HMS Ocean remains a significant, highly-flexible and capable warship for years to come".
An MoD spokesman said: "HMS Ocean will not decommission early and will continue in service as planned well into this Parliament.
"As part of the SDSR process, the decision was taken not to extend her and to decommission her in 2018, in line with her 20-year life span."