Tide-class tanker

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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)
  • £137.5 million (US$176 million) per RFA unit final (hull build only)
  • NOK 1.32 billion (US$224 million) for HNoMS Maud (FY 2013)
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: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 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

Tiderace and Tidesurge in Falmouth, England. Tiderace and Tidesurge (41097960222).jpg
Tiderace and Tidesurge in Falmouth, England.

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

The Royal Norwegian Navy is the branch of the Norwegian Armed Forces responsible for naval operations of Norway. As of 2008, the Royal Norwegian Navy 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 (RFA) is a naval auxiliary fleet owned by the UK's Ministry of Defence and is the fifth fighting arm of the Royal Navy. It provides vital logistical and operational support to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. The RFA ensures the Royal Navy is supplied and supported by providing fuel and stores through replenishment at sea, transporting Royal Marines and British Army personnel, providing medical care and transporting equipment and essentials across the world. In addition the RFA acts independently providing humanitarian aid, counter piracy and counter narcotic patrols together with assisting the Royal Navy in preventing conflict and securing international trade. They are a uniformed civilian branch of the Royal Navy staffed by British merchant sailors.

HMAS <i>Success</i> (OR 304)

HMAS Success was a Durance-class multi-product replenishment oiler that previously served in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Built by Cockatoo Docks & Engineering Company in Sydney, Australia, during the 1980s, she is the only ship of the class to be constructed outside France, and the only one to not originally serve in the Marine Nationale. The ship was part of the Australian contribution to the 1991 Gulf War, and was deployed to East Timor in response to incidents in 1999 and 2006. The ship was fitted with a double hull during the first half of 2011, to meet International Maritime Organization standards.

RFA <i>Mounts Bay</i> (L3008)

RFA Mounts Bay is a Bay-class auxiliary landing ship dock of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She is named after Mount's Bay in Cornwall.

RFA <i>Cardigan Bay</i> (L3009)

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.

Replenishment oiler

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>Sirius</i> (O 266)

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

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.

Leaf-class tanker

The Leaf class is a class of support tanker of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). The class is somewhat unusual as it is an amalgam of various civilian tankers chartered for naval auxiliary use and as such has included many different designs of ship. Leaf names are traditional tanker names in the RFA, and are recycled when charters end and new vessels are acquired. Thus, there have been multiple uses of the same names, confusingly sometimes sharing a common pennant number.

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 replenishment oiler <i>Cantabria</i>

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.

A Fleet Solid Support Ship is a type of Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship designed to supply solids, such as ammunition, explosives and food, to Royal Navy ships at sea. The term can also refer to the programme to replace the RFA's existing solid support ships, the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) Fleet Solid Support (FSS) programme.

RFA <i>Tidespring</i> (A136)

RFA Tidespring is a Tide-class replenishment tanker of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Built by DSME in 2016, the ship entered service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in November 2017.

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). Built by DSME in 2017, she entered service with the RFA on 20 February 2019.

HMNZS <i>Aotearoa</i>

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)

RFA Tideforce is a Tide-class replenishment tanker of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Launched in 2017, the ship entered service with the RFA in 2019.

HNoMS <i>Maud</i>

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.


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