Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Submarines are relatively small compared to most oceangoing vessels, and generally do not have the ability to carry large amounts of food, fuel, torpedoes, and other supplies, nor to carry a full array of maintenance equipment and personnel. The tender carries all these, and periodically meets up with a submarine at sea to replenish it.
With the increased size and automation of modern submarines, plus their reliance on nuclear power, tenders are no longer as necessary as they once were.
In the United States Navy, submarine tenders are considered auxiliaries, with hull classification symbol "AS". As of 2004, the Navy only maintains two such tenders, Emory S. Land (AS-39) and Frank Cable (AS-40) .
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