Tide-class tanker

Last updated

RFA Tiderace arrives at Fleet Activities Yokosuka for a scheduled port visit in August 2017.jpg
Tiderace in August 2017
Class overview
Name: Tide class
Builders: DSME
Operators: British-Royal-Fleet-Auxiliary-Ensign.svg Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Preceded by: Leafclass and Roverclass
  • £452 million (eventually £550 million) for 4 RFA vessels (hull build only)
  • £140 million for HNoMS Maud
In service: from 2017
Planned: 4 (RFA) + 1 (Norway)
General characteristics [1]
Type: Fast Fleet Tanker
Displacement: 39,000 t (38,000 long tons; 43,000 short tons)
Length: 200.9 m (659 ft 1 in)
Beam: 28.6 m (93 ft 10 in) [2]
Draft: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
Propulsion: CODELOD
Speed: 26.8 knots (49.6 km/h; 30.8 mph) [3]
Range: 18,200 nautical miles (33,700 km; 20,900 mi)
  • Tanks for diesel oil, aviation fuel and fresh water
  • Lubrication oil stored in drums
  • Stowage for up to 8 × 20 containers
Complement: 63 plus 46 non-crew embarked persons (Royal Marines, flight crew, trainees)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Kelvin Hughes Integrated Bridge System
  • Servowatch IPMS System
  • 3 × SharpEye radar [4]
Aircraft carried: 1 x Wildcat or AgustaWestland Merlin
Aviation facilities:

The Tide-class tanker (formerly the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) project) is a class of four fast fleet tankers that entered service with the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary from 2017. The 37,000 t ships provide fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world. Norway ordered a similar 26,000 t version with a 48-bed hospital and greater solid stores capacity,but reduced liquid capacity it was delivered in November 2018 as HNoMS Maud two years after originally planned. The two classes are very similar, but are not directly comparable due to large variance in capabilities delivered.


The two variants are both based on the AEGIR design from Britain's BMT Defence Services but were built by Daewoo in South Korea with final outfitting in the UK and Norway respectively. Britain ordered four ships in February 2012 at a cost of £452m for the building of the hulls, but in the end became £550m.

The Norwegian Navy ordered HNoMS Maud in June 2013 for NOK1,320m (~£140m).


On 22 February 2012 an order for four tankers was placed with Daewoo at a contract cost of £452m, plus an additional £150m to be spent in Britain, making a total cost for the four ships slightly over £600 million. [5] Building ships in South Korea caused controversy in Britain, but no British yards tendered for the order. [5] On 14 November 2012 it was announced that the new class would revive names from the Cold War Tide-class oilers - Tidespring (A136), Tiderace (A137), Tidesurge (A138), and the new name Tideforce (A139). [6] The previous Tidespring earned a battle honour in 1982 for her service during the Falklands War, which included transporting a company of Royal Marines to recapture South Georgia. The board carrying the honour and the ship's badge were both taken to Korea for installation in the new Tidespring. [7]


RFA Tide class

The Tide class are a 200.9 m (659 ft 1 in), 39,000 t [8] derivative of BMT Defence Services' AEGIR-26 design, [9] whose origins lie in a civilian tanker from Skipskonsulent of Norway. [10] They are double-hulled to reduce or prevent oil being lost by damage to the outer hull, in line with the MARPOL regulations for civilian tankers (from which military tankers are partially exempt). As well as being safer, this means that Tides can go to places that discouraged their single-hulled predecessors - the recently decommissioned Rover-class vessels and Leaf-classtankers. [11]

There are three stations for replenishment at sea (RAS) abeam, of diesel oil, aviation fuel and fresh water. The flight deck and helicopter hangar allow vertical RAS. [1] The flight deck is large and strong enough for a Chinook helicopter to land on. [12] Propulsion uses medium-speed diesel engines driving twin shafts [13] in a hybrid CODELOD (Combined Diesel Electric Or Diesel) arrangement [14] designed for fuel efficiency across a wide range of speeds.

Other variants

BMT offer the AEGIR fleet tanker in three sizes. The AEGIR-10, AEGIR-18 and AEGIR-26 are 10,000  DWT, 18,000 DWT and 26,000 DWT respectively, and can carry 8,000 m3 (2,100,000 US gal), 16,000 m3 (4,200,000 US gal) and 24,000 m3 (6,300,000 US gal) of fuel. [13] The AEGIR-18R replenishment ship trades a third of its fuel capacity for 1,350 m3 (48,000 cu ft) of dry stores in an extended superstructure. [13] The standard AEGIR-18 has less range (10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi)) and is slower (18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)) than the British version. [13]

The design has been entered in a number of competitions, but as of March 2016 the only foreign order has been for an AEGIR-18R derivative from the Royal Norwegian Navy in 2013 (see below). The AEGIR-18A, a derivative of the AEGIR-18R like the Norwegian ship but with among other things better air-conditioning, was offered to Australia for Project SEA 1654 Phase 3, a requirement for two supply ships to replace HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius. [15] In June 2014 it was shortlisted along with the Buque de Aprovisionamiento en Combate, which would be built in Spain by Navantia, [15] who have built most of Australia's recent warships. In March 2016 Australia announced it would be buying the Spanish ship. [16] In March 2016 Daewoo also lost out to Hyundai in a competition to supply New Zealand with a tanker. [17] A 2014 Daewoo presentation points out that India, Singapore and Brazil all need new supply ships in the near future. [18]


Royal Fleet Auxiliary

First steel was cut on 24 June 2014 for RFA Tidespring, [7] and she was named in a ceremony on 7 October 2015. [19] She was expected to arrive in Falmouth in spring 2016 to allow A&P Group to fit military equipment such as communications gear. [20] Following sea trials, Tidespring was to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2016, [21] with her three sister ships following at six-month intervals. [22] In August 2016 it was reported that RFA Tidespring was still undergoing trials with builder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea; [23] procurement minister Harriett Baldwin has blamed "delays in finalising elements of electrical design and the installation of Multi-Cable Transit insulation in accordance with new legislative regulations" which have now been resolved. [24] Tidespring reached the UK in spring 2017, docking at Falmouth on 2 April for seventeen weeks to fit weapons and communications gear. [25] Four months of acceptance trials will follow; [25] her sisters will enter service by the end of 2018. [24]

Name Pennant No. BuilderLaid downLaunchedNamedEntered serviceStatus
Tidespring A136Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.December 2014April 20157 October 2015 [19] 27 November 2017In Service
Tiderace A137June 2015November 20151 December 2016 [26] 2 August 2018In Service
Tidesurge A1387 December 20154 June 2016 [27] 29 August 2017 [28] 20 February 2019In Service
Tideforce A13924 December 2015 [29] 21 January 201724 January 2018 [30] 30 July 2019In Service

Royal Norwegian Navy

HNoMS Maud [31] was ordered on 28 June 2013 [18] to replace HNoMS Tyr and HNoMS Valkyrien [32] at a cost of NOK1,320m [32] (~£140m) [33] with 100% offsets. [32] She is based on the AEGIR-18R design. [9] but includes a 48-bed [34] hospital underneath the flight deck with an operating theatre, isolation ward and CT scanner. [35] She can carry 7000 tonnes of F76 fuel oil, 300 tonnes of F44/JP-5 jet fuel, 200 tonnes of ammunition and 40 ISO containers or a mix of vehicles and boats. [18] She has two abeam RAS rigs and a stern reel, and a 25-tonne deck crane. [18] A side ramp allows easy access for vehicles and for the support of submarines and other small vessels. [18] The flight deck can accommodate helicopters up to CH-53 Super Stallion size, and the hangar can operate one NH90 with level 2 maintenance or stow a second. [18] The core crew will be 40-50, with accommodation for 100 more if needed; [32] facilities include a gym and sauna. [18] Four Sea PROTECTOR remote weapon stations are planned. [18]

First steel for Maud was cut on 14 April 2015. [18] Delivery was planned for 30 September 2016 followed by acceptance trials in Norway in early 2017, and then FOST in the UK and other exercises before full entry into service in January 2018. [18] However, delivery was postponed due to technical problems and the vessel was finally commissioned in Norway in May, 2019. [36]

See also

Related Research Articles

Royal Norwegian Navy maritime warfare branch of Norways military

The Royal Norwegian Navy is the branch of the Norwegian Armed Forces responsible for naval operations of Norway. As of 2008, the RNoN consists of approximately 3,700 personnel and 70 vessels, including 4 heavy frigates, 6 submarines, 14 patrol boats, 4 minesweepers, 4 minehunters, 1 mine detection vessel, 4 support vessels and 2 training vessels. It also includes the Coast Guard.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Naval auxiliary fleet which supports the Royal Navy

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is the fifth fighting arm of the Royal Navy. It is made up of civilian-crewed ships operated by the Ministry of Defence. It provides vital – and highly valued – logistical and operational support to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. A committed team of personnel makes sure the Royal Navy and Royal Marines are well supplied and well supported, providing medical care, transporting kit, fuel and other essentials all over the world. In addition the RFA provides humanitarian aid, undertakes counter piracy patrols, counter narcotic operations, defence diplomacy together with assisting in preventing conflict or safeguarding the flow of international trade as single units. They are the uniformed civilian branch of the Naval Service, staffed by UK merchant sailors.

RFA <i>Cardigan Bay</i> (L3009) Bay-class landing ship dock

RFA Cardigan Bay is a Bay-class landing ship dock of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Built by BAE Systems, the ship was dedicated into the RFA at the end of 2006.

HMAS <i>Supply</i> (AO 195)

HMAS Supply was a Tide-class replenishment oiler of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Originally named Tide Austral and intended to be the first ship of a post-World War II Royal Australian Fleet Auxiliary, manpower and financial shortages meant that when the Belfast-built ship was launched in 1955, she could not be accepted into Australian service. Instead, she was loaned to the RFA, operating RFA Tide Austral (A99). In August 1962, the ship was commissioned directly into the RAN, then renamed a month later to HMAS Supply. Supply operated as part of the RAN until her decommissioning at the end of 1985.

Wave-class tanker class of fast fleet tankers

The Wave-class tankers are a class of fast fleet tankers in service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The class is tasked with providing fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world. There are two ships in the class, RFA Wave Knight and RFA Wave Ruler. The ships were ordered to replace the aging Ol-class tankers RFA Olna and RFA Olwen. The two vessels have seen service in a number of locations, including anti-drug and hurricane relief operations in the Caribbean Sea, anti-piracy activities around the Horn of Africa and deterrent patrols in the South Atlantic.

Replenishment oiler naval auxiliary ship with fuel tanks and dry cargo holds

A replenishment oiler or replenishment tanker is a naval auxiliary ship with fuel tanks and dry cargo holds which can supply both fuel and dry stores during underway replenishment (UNREP) at sea. Many countries have used replenishment oilers.

HMAS <i>Westralia</i> (O 195)

HMAS Westralia was a modified Leaf class replenishment oiler which served with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from 1989 to 2006. Formerly RFA Appleleaf (A79), she served in with the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) from 1975 to 1989. The ship was initially leased to the RAN, then purchased outright in 1994. In 1998, a fire onboard resulted in the deaths of four sailors. Westralia was decommissioned in 2006, and the ship was sold into civilian service for use as a Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel, under the name Shiraz. However, the ship was laid up in Indonesia until late 2009, when she was sold to a Turkish ship breaking company. Arriving in January 2010, the vessel was scrapped.

HMAS <i>Sirius</i> (O 266) Royal Australian Navy tanker ship

HMAS Sirius is a commercial tanker purchased by the Royal Australian Navy and converted into a fleet replenishment vessel to replace HMAS Westralia. She is named in honor of HMS Sirius of the First Fleet. Launched in South Korea on 2004, and converted in Western Australia, Sirius was commissioned in 2006; three years before a purpose-built vessel would have been built, and at half the cost. The tanker is expected to remain in service until the 2020s.

Tide-class replenishment oiler former series of six replenishment oilers used by the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The Tide class was a series of six replenishment oilers used by the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and the Chilean Navy.

RFA <i>Wave Knight</i> (A389)

RFA Wave Knight is a Wave-class fast fleet tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) of the United Kingdom tasked with providing fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world.

DSME South Korean shipbuilding company

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd(DSME) is one of the "Big Three" shipbuilders of South Korea.

Spanish oiler <i>Cantabria</i> spanish ship

Cantabria (A15) is a replenishment oiler operated by the Spanish Navy. Acquired to provide logistical support for the Spanish fleet, Cantabria was commissioned in 2010. Cantabria is the second-largest naval ship currently operated by the Spanish, behind Juan Carlos I.

Fleet Solid Support Ship

A Fleet Solid Support Ship is a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship designed to supply dry stores such as ammunition, explosives and food to Royal Navy ships at sea. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary currently operates two Solid Support Ships, RFA Fort Austin and RFA Fort Rosalie..

RFA <i>Tidespring</i> (A136) Tide-class replenishment tanker of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary

RFA Tidespring is a Tide-class replenishment tanker of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Ordered from DSME in 2012, the ship was accepted by the Ministry of Defence in 2017, approximately 18 months behind schedule.

RFA <i>Tiderace</i> (A137)

RFA Tiderace is a Tide-class replenishment tanker of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Ordered from DSME in 2012, she was officially named on 1 December 2016 and was accepted by the Ministry of Defence in June 2017. Tiderace entered service on 2 August 2018.

RFA <i>Tidesurge</i> (A138)

RFA Tidesurge is a Tide-class replenishment tanker of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Ordered from DSME in 2012, she was officially named on 29 August 2017.

HMNZS <i>Aotearoa</i> ship

HMNZS Aotearoa, formerly the Maritime Sustainment Capability project, is an auxiliary ship of the Royal New Zealand Navy. Builder Hyundai Heavy Industries delivered the ship to the Navy in June 2020, and she was commissioned into service on 29 July 2020. Full operational capability is expected to be achieved in 2021. It will serve as a replenishment oiler, and will replace HMNZS Endeavour, the Navy’s last fleet oiler, decommissioned in December 2017.

RFA <i>Tideforce</i> (A139) oil tanker of the United Kingdoms Royal Fleet Auxiliary

RFA Tideforce is a Tide-class replenishment tanker of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Ordered from DSME in 2012, she was officially named on 24 January 2018.

HNoMS <i>Maud</i> Supply ship of the Norwegian Navy

HNoMS Maud is a replenishment oiler constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea. She was built on behalf of the Norwegian defense materials agency Forsvarsmateriell, for service in the Royal Norwegian Navy.

The Supply class is a planned class of replenishment oilers of the Royal Australian Navy, a role that combines the missions of a tanker and stores supply ship. As such they are designated auxiliary oiler replenisher (AOR). They will be tasked with providing ammunition, fuel, food and other supplies to Royal Australian Navy vessels around the world. There will be two ships in the class, Supply and Stalwart. The project is expected to cost anywhere between $1 and $2 billion. Navantia were selected to build a design based on the Spanish Navy's current replenishment vessel Cantabria, which entered service in 2011.


  1. 1 2 "Tide Class MARS Tanker". BMT. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  2. "DSME Announced as Winning Bid for Royal Navy's MARS Tanker Competition". Defencepro Daily. 22 February 2012. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  3. "Tide-Class Tankers". gov.uk. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  4. "Kelvin Hughes to supply equipment for 4 MARS tankers vessels for Royal Fleet Auxiliary". NavyRecognition.com. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  5. 1 2 "MOD to order four new RFA tankers". Ministry of Defence. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  6. "New fleet of RFA tankers named". Ministry of Defence. 14 November 2012.
  7. 1 2 "Lady sponsor announced for RFA Tidespring". Royal Navy. 2 September 2014.
  8. "First tanker to support Royal Navy carriers sails into Portsmouth". Royal Navy. 16 November 2017.
  9. 1 2 "Euronaval News" (PDF). SOGENA. 29 October 2014. p. 6.
  10. "Aegir-18R A flexible multiple-commodity fleet support vessel" (PDF). BMT Defence Services. 2 September 2008.
  11. "MoD buys £452m MARS tanker ships". Defence Management. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  12. "Royal Fleet Auxiliary's new tanker arrives in UK for customisation work sustaining 300 jobs". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  13. 1 2 3 4 "Aegir® A family of naval task force support ship designs" (PDF). BMT Defence Services. 19 October 2011.
  14. "RENK develops its naval market domain with large Navy orders". RENK AG, Augsburg. 2012.
  15. 1 2 Rahmat, Ridzwan (12 October 2015). "DSME, Navantia unveil design proposals for new RAN replenishment ships". IHS Jane's Navy International.
  16. Grevatt, Jon (10 March 2016). "Australia selects Navantia for new replenishment ship". IHS Jane's Defence Industry. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  17. Scott, Richard (3 March 2016). "HHI in frame for New Zealand tanker programme". IHS Jane's Navy International.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Lee, Sung Jin (27 August 2014). "Logistics Support Vessel HNoMS Maud". Sjømilitære Samfund.
  19. 1 2 "New naval tanker naming ceremony". British Embassy Seoul. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  20. Maclean, Richard (12 October 2015). "MARS tankers expected next Spring". Falmouth Packet .
  21. "First MARS Tanker is named in South Korea" (PDF). Desider. November 2015. p. 22.
  22. "RFA contract for A&P" (PDF). Ship and Offshore Repair Journal. 12 (6). March 2015. p. 4.
  23. "British Navy Sees Delay In Delivery Of South Korean-Built Tanker". Defense News. 4 August 2016.
  24. 1 2 "Royal Fleet Auxiliary: Written question - 51473". UK Parliament. 1 November 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  25. 1 2 Barnicoat, David (29 March 2017). "A&P Falmouth welcomes arrival of RFA fleet tanker after months of planning". Falmouth Packet. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  26. "RFA Tiderace unveiled in South Korea". British Embassy Seoul. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  27. "RFA Tidesurge". HistoricalRFA.org.
  28. "공지 - 대우조선해양". DSME.co.kr.
  29. "RFA Tideforce". HistoricalRFA.org.
  30. "Chrzest RFA Tideforce". zbiam.pl. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  31. "Largest ship of the Norwegian Navy under construction in South Korea". Royal Norwegian Embassy in Seoul. 25 June 2015.
  32. 1 2 3 4 "Inngår kontrakt om nytt logistikkfartøy". Skipsrevyen (in Norwegian). 28 June 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  33. "BMT Confirmed as Design Contractor for Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation's Logistics and Support Vessel". BMT Group Ltd. 1 July 2013.
  34. "Norwegian Navy orders new logistics vessel". Norway Post. 29 June 2013.
  35. "Saab receives design and integration orders for healthcare capability for Norwegian support vessel". Skipsrevyen. 7 October 2014.
  36. "Skriftlig spørsmål fra Anniken Huitfeldt (A) til forsvarsministeren" [Written questions from Anniken Huitfeldt (A) to the Minister of Defence]. Storting of Norway (in Norwegian). 8 August 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2017.