A Merlin Mk2 helicopter has landed on the deck of the first of RFA Tidespring, the first of four 39,000 tonne Tide Class tankers.
Commanding Officer, Captain Simon Herbert, said:
“Achieving the aviation sea acceptance trials is a key milestone in the generation of RFA Tidespring into Naval Service.
Successful completion of these trials will certify the parameters necessary for all Tide-class ships to operate aircraft in support of a wide range of defence activities, such as maritime security, task group operations and humanitarian and disaster-relief operations.”
Tidespring, which earlier this week made her debut visit to Gibraltar, is currently undergoing trials ahead of her acceptance into the fleet in November
According to a press release:
“Tidespring, which will be followed by sister vessels Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce, will now progress to first-of-class flying trials as well as replenishment training ahead of her Service of Dedication in Portsmouth.
The tankers, capable of carrying up to 19,000 cubic metres of fuel and 1,400 cubic metres of fresh water, will provide key support to HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister Prince of Wales.”