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. The government are complaining that they don’t have enough boats to combat immigrants and that and there buying 8 brand new ones to help out, why not use this one for now untill ?

    • It wasn’t designed for that job, it’s an old ship that does only one job. It’s probably cheaper to get a ship in leased if needed it’s only a converted oil platform support vessel.

  2. So I guess our ships won’t need repairing in future then? The cuts to our navy are national disgrace! Do people not realise we depend on the sea for almost everything!!! :@

    • The name of the game now is flexibility. Having a big, old inflexible RFA will never survive in the modern Navy. Chartering support vessels if needed is much cheaper and flexible. The Bay classes will be able to undertake most of the tasks currently undertaken by Diligence. She’s nothing special, merely a oil platform supply ship.

  3. 35 year old merchant ship and i bet she’s been worked hard…let her go. She was probably only bought to fill a cold war requirement. Im sure many sailors have good memories of her though.

  4. Ohh Ffs, she is 35 years old. Not running/moving under her own power and we now have a base in the same region she is usually forward deployed in. So no use for her. Yes a useful ship in her time but at 35 it’s time to move on.

  5. What a hysterical over-reaction to this decision by some on this forum, the government could do more for the RN but to suggest the government hates the navy when we will see two capable carriers join the fleet in the next few years is a bit silly.
    HMS Juffair we be much more useful to support our fleet in the part of the world where we will be deployed to in the years to come.

  6. What a shambles! If the MOD can’t afford to run this vessel, then how will they ever manage to keep the two new aircraft carriers in service. I can guess the answer is will they will not be able to!

  7. being ex rfa I have served on diligence and though a capable ship she was coming to the end of her life accommodation was dated ,engineroom equipment ok but hard to source spares for her engines at the time I was on her as they were an uncommon make and she was top heavy after putting on the flight deck so rolled a bit but after that had 4 pretty good months on the old girl 2005


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