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The first of the new Tide class tankers, RFA Tidespring,has visited Gibraltar for the first time.

According to a press release:

“RFA Tidespring called in on the Rock for routine logistics support.

She arrived in the UK earlier this year to join the RFA.

The tankers will provide key support to the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers as they come into Service, alongside the wider fleet.”

The Tide class tanker is a class of four fast fleet tankers that will enter service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The 37,000 tonne ships will provide fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world.

First steel was cut on the 24th of June 2014 for RFA Tidespring, she was expected to arrive in Falmouth in Spring 2016 to allow A&P Group to fit military equipment such as communications gear. Her three sister ships were to follow at six-month intervals.

The Tide class are a 37,000 tonne derivative of BMT Defence Services AEGIR-26 design, whose origins lie in a civilian tanker from Skipskonsulent of Norway.

They are double-hulled to reduce or prevent oil being lost by damage to the outer hull, in line with the MARPOL regulations for civilian tankers (from which military tankers are partially exempt).

The flight deck is large and strong enough for a Chinook helicopter to land on.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Spent two years on her predecessor 72/74
    Best two years of my life
    Was alongside in Sydney at one stage for the opening of the Opera house
    Boy what a rusty old thing she was
    Steam winches and had to do our own rigging and splicing in thoses days

    • I noticed that. I thought the Tides were supposed to have 2 of each. I expected to see the forward Phalanx behind that bulwark near the bow.

      Maybe they’re doing the Bay-class “thing” and having mounting positions there but only actually installing them on a per-mission basis depending on the perceived threat level of the area they’re going to. Personally I hope that’s not the case and it’s down to the fact they haven’t for some reason completed the installation yet. The worst-case would be that they’ve dropped those weapons off the spec completely.

  2. I was on RFA Regent during the Falklands war and if all the experts on here should know that we had fittings in place for the orlikans or i my be wrong for chaff
    After the surrender we anchored in Falkland sound to have them fitted
    Being an ammunition ship as i think all you experts know you would have thought that they would have been fitted full time but they weren’t
    Theres an old saying “shut the gate after the horse has bolted” springs to mind
    They wont be fitted just the same as the carriers who they where built to support have no weapons themselves

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