The RFA’s new tanker RFA Tidespring has been conducting builders sea trials off South Korea.

RFA Tidespring is a Tide class tanker. The 37,000 tonne ship will provide fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world.

In February 2012 an order for four tankers was placed with Daewoo at a cost of £452 million, of which £150m would be spent in Britain. Building ships in Korea caused controversy however no British yards had tendered for the order as they were all busy on the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

The next-generation tankers are part of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) project and are intended to replace the RFA’s ageing fleet of single-hulled tankers.

The vessels are designed by BMT Defence Services, in co-operation with BMT Reliability Consultants and BMT Cadence, based on AEGIR tanker. The prime contractor Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) will oversee the construction of the vessels at its yard in South Korea.

First steel was cut on the 24th of June 2014 for RFA Tidespring and she was named in a ceremony in October. She is expected to arrive in Falmouth in Spring 2016 to allow A&P Group to fit military equipment such as communications gear.

Following sea trials, Tidespring will enter service in the fourth quarter of 2016. Her three sister ships will follow at six-month intervals.


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Mitch Arnold

Should have been built in Portsmouth.

Ian Murray

Then perhaps Portsmouth should’ve tendered for the job?

Rob Dean

Probably, but they didn’t put in a bid for the contract, so it went elsewhere.


I cant understand why Portsmouth isn’t split off from BAE.

Pete Herbert

They must have known the UK builders were busy. Shame they couldn’t delay them a bit. Guess they need them sooner rather than later.

Charles Verrier

I believe no British yard put in a tender

Brian Aitkenhead

No UK yard put in a tender, the South Koreans delivered on time and to budget, something that’s rare in Britain….

Paul Greet

They didn’t and haven’t delivered, on time. This ship is still in South Korea. It’s going to be 12 months late and the shipyard have spent twice their original budget.

David Anthony Simpson

They are already 10 years behind the original procurement schedule!!

Andy Thompson

Capable of time travel too. Impressive. Due in Falmouth in Spring 2016. Three months ago.

Graeme Robertson

Says a lot for the uks ship building abilities even 10 years ago I sure someone would been keen to build

Ryan Smith

Unlucky Brad Smith

Bloke down the pub

Apart from a couple of short trips to sea for trials, Tidespring has been moored up in Okpo-Dong for weeks now.
Is there any news as to whether there are any issues that they are having to sort out or is it just the Treasury being slow to hand over the cash?

The other bloke down the pub

Some last minute design changes, I believe they’re the first ships DSME have delivered late.