The Disposal Services Authority is inviting expressions of interest for the sale of RFA Diligence, years before the vessel was due to leave service.

The forward repair vessel only came out of refit last year. She is understood to be “Sound for towing, not in running condition”.

The former RFA Diligence is a forward repair ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Accordign to the MoD, RFA Diligence is in good overall condition and moored at Bidston Dock, Birkenhead.

Viewings are to take place in Mid/late October 2016.

The Disposal Services Authority say that any party interested in acquiring the vessel should contact them no later than Monday the 26th of September 2016.

According to a response to a Freedom of Information request at the end of last year, the vessel was supposed to leave service in 2020. She is now effectively out of service.

Capture1The answer to the second question, by the way, is no.

Diligence was launched in 1981 as a support ship for North Sea oil rigs, she was chartered by the British government to support naval activities during the 1982 Falklands War and was later bought outright as a fleet maintenance vessel.

She gave assistance to the damaged USS Tripoli and Princeton in the 1991 Gulf War, and to Sri Lanka after the 2005 tsunami.

The vessel typically deployed for 5-8 years in support of nuclear submarines on duty east of Suez, with a secondary role as a mothership for British and US minesweepers in the Persian Gulf, now performed by a Bay class vessel.

CaptureThe ship was given a £16 million overhaul during 2007 at Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders in Birkenhead. Her accommodation areas, galley and engine room were all upgraded, with the intention of extending the ship’s service life until the middle of the next decade. The overhaul was completed in December 2007.

RFA Diligence was originally set to go out of service in 2020.

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Richard Thompson


Christopher Kent

Why it’s old and worn out

Richard Thompson

The article states it had a refit.

Gerry Moar

Richard Thompson

Ships built 30+ years ago for the oil industry dont need refits, they need rebuilds.

Christopher Kent

It also says it’s “Sound for towing, not in running condition”, not a very good refit in my eyes

Christopher Kent

Also if you read the article it says the refit was completed nearly 10 years ago

Andy Monaghan

Is it being replaced?

Brian Aitkenhead

well worn old ship… i wonder if there are plans in place to replace her?

Nick Lockhart

I reckon they’ve found something they didn’t like.

Callum Sweeney

Aww the Dilly Pig. I thought she was in pretty good nick last time I seen her.

Andrew Loftus

Ash Loftus

Ray Lovie

She’s done well built in 81

Kenny Maciver

Paul Nugent

David Stone

An odd refit that leaves it in towing condition only. Presume they found some costly issues?

John Thorn

Well there’s not much of a navy left to repair now 🙁

Hannah Riekemann

Grahame see? Lol.

Grahame Flint

Oh dear. Sad times, Mark.

David Boyd

My first ever ship. Loved it on there

Chris Power

Sad, it’s been fantastic value for money. Would be acceptable if she was being replaced. Last of the Falklands vets?

Tony Stansfield

Argus was in the falklands as a container ship. …maybe the remaining rovers too?

Verrill Ellis

Fort Rosalie also still knocking about. Dilly was one of my favourites…apart from temporarily losing a load of kit off my plr.

Toby Parr

Not to clued up on her, but according to Wiki she has been on the water for 35 years already, so looks as if she has had a long life. Only problem is now getting the MoD to engage there brain cells in order to get a replacement for her.

Mark Le Grange

Will never happen. If they decided they would replace it today. It will still be 7-10 before it’s ready ?

Neal Tristan Overton

Quite right Mark Le Grange

Tbh no ship should be retired until its replacement is ready to enter service

Matthew Smith

Chris Pearce

Nick 'Topsie' Turner

Not the dillipig!!

Mark Wallis

Is this to free crew up for the new Tide class tankers?

Craig Kilgour

Sneaky bastards!!!

Kieran Locke

This decision is due to manpower and the fact that we are building a permanent naval base in Bahrain. I imagine a capability replacement will appear but that does not necessarily mean a dedicated ship. Maybe secondary capability’s on the new supply ships etc.

Charlie Stuart

Keeran Stephenson

Neal Tristan Overton

You can bet theyll be no plans to build a replacement, leaving the navy short in yet another department

Bloke down the pub

I did see plans a few years back for a pair of barges, equipped for the maintenance role, that would be moved about on a semi-submersible heavy lift ship. As Kieran points out above, the building of facilities at Bahrain has probably reduced the need for a replacement, and if there is change then there are plenty of spare vessels available from the North Sea oil industry.


I assume the replacement is ‘HMS Nothing’?

Brian Dutton

What is replacing her, nothing as usual I suppose ?

Paul Creek Jonathan Hemingway

Chris Wood

Might as well sell the other ships thats wat the mod like doing


There are plenty of offshore support vessels redundant due to the drop in the oil price. Some new or a few years old. Could get one fairly cheaply.