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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here