RFA Tidesurge has been welcomed to the fleet with a dedication service at Greenock Ocean Terminal near Glasgow, say the Royal Navy.

The 39,000-tonne fleet replenishment tanker is the latest of four new RFA ships which are the biggest in service.

According to a release:

“Previously, Greenock was the affiliated town of RFA Gold Rover, which provided sterling service in support of the Royal Navy, NATO, and coalition allies for over 40 years. RFA Tidesurge will now take on the honour, continuing its close ties with the area.

Members of the RFA, military personnel, dignitaries, and civil leaders from Greenock gathered at the waterside for the dedication ceremony. Guest of honour at the event was the ship’s Lady Sponsor, Lady Joanna Woodcock, accompanied by her husband, former Second Sea Lord Sir Jonathan Woodcock.”

“Tidesurge is the third of our four new fleet replenishment tankers”, said Commodore Duncan Lamb, Head of the RFA.

“With her flight deck capable of operating Chinook helicopters, double probe replenishment at sea rigs, self-defence capability, and versatile fuel cargo system, she represents a crucial element of the Royal Navy task group of the future and a key enabler of our navy’s global reach.”

David Farmer, Head of Commercially Supported Shipping (CSS) at Defence Equipment and Support (DES), said:

“Today’s service of dedication for RFA Tidesurge, the third Tide-class tanker, is a culmination of a significant period of expert and steadfast delivery by the CSS team which is proud to be bringing her and her sister ships into the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service in defence of the UK.

The Tide class is a truly world-leading fleet of new supply vessels which has already been proven in operational deployments, including those alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our Armed Forces customer and industry partners as Tidesurge completes final trials and formally enters service over the next few months.”

47 COMMENTS

    • I have a question which no doubt everyone else already knows the answer to.

      Why do we have a RN and a RFA? Why not just RN? There are Phalanx and other weapons on board these ‘supply’ ships not to mention the capability to carry various types of helicopters.

      Answers on a postcard…

      • RFA is civillian manned and does not conduct offensive operations. Phalanx is there for defence only and I believe are operated by embarked RN, not RFA. Same with embarked RM being needed for boarding – the RFA do not do this themselves.

        It’s a little like what the RN are being relegated to with the carriers just being hotel vessels to host the RAF and the amphibs being hotel vessels for the Royal Marines 🙁

      • The US Navy has a similar situation. Non-warships are designated USNS, instead of USS, and the crew are mostly civil service. Don’t know why though; the reason is probably lost in the mists of antiquity.

        • The reasons are actually simple. It denotes a vessel that is property of the Navy but without a commission as a warship and is crewed by civilian operators with a small military complement. The civilian complement having to come from the US Merchant Marine. Meaning they lose civilian status one war is declared. Pursuant to the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (Jones Act), also note the law mandating US construction of ships.
          During peace time this all falls MSC (Military Sealift Command).
          Primary reason for this is it allows MSC to operate at a fraction of the cost of military personnel. By dodging Naval manning requirements and not granting them veterans benefits unless the US is in a Declared War (note WWII was the last).

      • RGR, Since no one else has mentioned the elephant in the room, I’d better do it.

        Manpower.

        The RN is having enough problems manning it’s own ships at the moment, Having to put ships into alongside condition to free up manpower for the QE ships.I don’t see how they could stretch to manning the RFA ships.

    • No, it’s awful. ordered way way back in 2012 in which just the shipbuild price became 550 million quid in which you can add 30% or more tax back for a gross price of a shade under one billion pounds.

  1. For those following my petition:

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/235377

    We have well over 10,000 signatures. This means that the Gov has to reply. Click on the link over the next few weeks and see what they. I wrote to Johnny Mercer who is on the Defence Select committee and his reply include “It’s a good campaign and one I would like to succeed”. Only 89,000 to go now.

    Keep sharing the link if you can

    • Great job Andy! Keep up the good work.

      Have you thought about reaching out to the supply chain community? I’m sure there are many in the industry that would support and sign your petition.

      It would also be worth seeing if any existing dock yards have apprenticeship schemes running with local schools, colleges and universities.

      “So you want to be an engineer when you grow up? How about supporting a petition that can influence ships being built in the UK to secure future jobs? The like of which you’ll probably be applying for after graduating…”

      There are plenty of opportunities that can inspire the next generation of;
      Engineers,
      3D Modellers,
      Logistics and supply chain,
      IT,
      HR…..

    • I seem to be experiencing issues commenting… take 2

      Great job Andy! Keep up the good work.

      Have you thought about reaching out to the supply chain community? I’m sure there are many in the industry that would support and sign your petition.

      It would also be worth seeing if any existing dock yards have apprenticeship schemes running with local schools, colleges and universities.

      “So you want to be an engineer when you grow up? How about supporting a petition that can influence ships being built in the UK to secure future jobs? The like of which you’ll probably be applying for after graduating…”

      There are plenty of opportunities that can inspire the next generation of;
      Engineers,
      3D Modellers,
      Logistics and supply chain,
      IT,
      HR…..

    • Still experiencing issues commenting… take 3…

      Great job Andy, keep up the good work!

      Have you thought about reaching out to the supply chain community also? I’m sure there are many in the industry that would support, sign and promote your petition.

      It would also be worth seeing if any existing docks/yards have apprenticeship schemes running with local schools, colleges and universities.

      “So you want to be an engineer when you grow up? How about supporting a petition that can influence these fine ships being built in the UK to support future jobs? The like of which you will probably be applying for after graduating…” etc.

      There are plenty of opportunities that can inspire the next generation of;
      Engineers
      3D modellers
      Logistics and Supply Chain,
      IT,
      HR….

  2. I’m so looking forward to the day we can see QE/PoW sailing with a tide, new FSSS, 2 T26 and 2 T45. I presume we are looking at very late 2020’s for that? It all seems so slow considering the urgent need for new platforms. When will the FSSS be delivered?

  3. Andy l will sign this. Only a decent batch of F35’s a potent anti surface capability and bingo! We will have ‘hard power’ blue water navy. T S. Keep it on your wish list together with your tooth under the pillow!

  4. Call me silly but I do think these are some of the nicest looking ships in the fleet, and they make such a difference – the RFA / support / logistics vessels push us in the top tier compared to similar nations like France and Japan – plus of course our overseas territories and bases. I also like the defence secretary pushing for more RFA Argus-like vessels too – use the overseas aid budget on them!

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