The third of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s new Tide class tankers, RFA Tidesurge, has been formally named.
RFA Tidesurge was named by her sponsor Mrs Joanna Woodcock, whose husband is Second Sea Lord Vice-Admiral Jonathan Woodcock, at a ceremony in the South Korean shipyard where the vessels are built.
The 39,000-tonne tankers, designed to support HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister HMS Prince of Wales, are capable of carrying up to 19,000 cubic metres of fuel and 1,400 cubic metres of fresh water.
The first tanker RFA Tidespring is currently undergoing sea trials, having been fitted out at A&P Group’s Falmouth yard.
The second of the class, RFA Tiderace is on her way to Falmouth via the Panama Canal.
The fourth tanker, Tideforce, is currently under construction.
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.
Defence procurement minister Harriett Baldwin earlier blamed “delays in finalising elements of electrical design and the installation of Multi-Cable Transit insulation in accordance with new legislative regulations” which have now been resolved.
The UK still expects to have all four tankers delivered by 2018.
According to MoD, the customisation work is helping to support around 300 jobs at A&P Falmouth. The UK work content in the wider Tide Class programme is worth around £150 million, sustaining further jobs at 27 UK-based companies. The project is being delivered well within budget by the MoD.