RFA Wave Ruler (A390)
|Name:||RFA Wave Ruler|
|Operator:||Royal Fleet Auxiliary|
|Ordered:||12 March 1997|
|Launched:||9 February 2001|
|Commissioned:||27 April 2003|
|Status:||in active service|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Wave-class tanker|
|Displacement:||31,500 tonnes approx|
|Speed:||18 knots (33 km/h)|
|Range:||10,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)|
|Complement:||80 Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel with provision for 22 Royal Navy personnel for helicopter and weapons systems operations|
|Aircraft carried:||1 × Merlin helicopter with full hangar facilities|
RFA Wave Ruler is a Wave-class tanker fast fleet tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) of the United Kingdom tasked with providing fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world.
Wave Ruler was built by Kvaerner Govan (after 1999, BAE Systems Marine) and launched in 2001. She was accepted into service in 2003 and is the 2nd ship to bear this name in RFA service. Wave Ruler and her sister Wave Knight, were designed to replace Olna and Olwen, two Ol-class tanker 36,000 ton fast fleet tankers which were built at Swan Hunter and Hawthorn Leslie in the 1960s.
Wave Ruler was the last tanker commissioned into the RFA until RFA Tidespring becomes operational in late 2017.
Wave Ruler has a standard crew of 80 Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel with provision for a further 22 Royal Navy personnel to conduct helicopter and weapons systems operations. She carries a full medical team and sick bay and is capable of distributing 2,000 emergency relief packages in times of crisis.
The ship has the capability to supply fuel and other liquid cargo to vessels using replenishment rigs on port and starboard beams and through a Hudson reel-type stern rig. When providing support for amphibious operations, Wave Ruler is also able to deliver fuel to dracones positioned alongside. In addition to fuel, the ship carries ammunition and other stores which can be transferred while underway. She can operate a Merlin HM1 helicopter, or other helicopters of similar size, from a hangar and flight deck at the stern.
In 2006 the ship carried out three major cocaine seizures at sea. In September it recovered £64m of cocaine from an estimated cargo of £500m, after the crew of the fishing boat carrying the drugs set it on fire. On 2 November the ship and its accompanying Royal Marines captured 3 tonnes of cocaine worth £300m. On 29 November it seized a further 2.9 tonnes, again from a fishing boat. All the raids took place in the Caribbean.
On 31 August 2008 Wave Ruler was dispatched with HMS Iron Duke to assist relief efforts in the Caribbean for the Atlantic Hurricane Gustav. The vessels distributed food, water and first aid supplies to victims of the disaster as well as providing support restoring local infrastructure.
On 3 October 2008 the ship docked in Havana, Cuba. This was only the second time since the country's revolution 50 years earlier that a Royal Navy ship had visited the country. The five-day stay was part of an ongoing anti-drugs operation in the Caribbean, which saw the ship spend much of 2005-2008 in the region, confiscating over 13 tonnes of cocaine in total.
During February 2010, Wave Ruler and the destroyer HMS York were deployed to the Falkland Islands during a period of increased tension between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the former's plans to begin drilling for oil in the seas surrounding the islands. While in the South Atlantic, Wave Ruler took part in the rescue of an I-Kiribati sailor who was taken seriously ill, refuelling an RAF 1564 Search and Rescue Flight Sea King helicopter while in flight. The deployment also saw the ships visit Southern Thule in the Southern Sandwich Islands, the first British warships to visit the islands for nearly 10 years.
November 2010 saw the vessel back in the Caribbean, where she distributed 160 tonnes of fresh water and 32,000 water purification tablets in St. Lucia after the effects of Hurricane Tomas. The deployment also saw the vessel visit Antigua and the British Overseas Territory of Grand Cayman.
Wave Ruler spent the summer and autumn of 2011 again in the Caribbean deployed as Britain’s Atlantic Patrol Ship (North). She embarked a Mk 8 Lynx helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron for the duration.
In January 2013, Wave Ruler was relieved by RFA Fort Victoria.
In the autumn of 2014, Wave Ruler deployed as part of the Cougar 14 Task Group, along with HM Ships Bulwark & Northumberland, RFA Lyme Bay and French Ship Courbet for exercises in the Mediterranean and Gulf. Wave Ruler remained East of Suez, operating with RFA Fort Austin until both ships were relieved by Fort Victoria in June 2015.
- Jane's Fighting Ships, 2004-2005. Jane's Information Group Limited. p. 817. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.
- Wave Class Fast Fleet Tankers at the Royal Navy homepage
- http://rfaaplymouth.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=128 O Class Fleet Replenishment Tankers
- BBC News
- The Mirror
- "Navy ships help after hurricane". BBC News. 2008-08-31.
- Cuba welcomes RN anti-drug ship
- "5am update: Storm causes damage, slams Sister Islands". Caymanian Compass. 2008-11-08. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
- Gordon Brown says UK is prepared in Falkland Islands
- Official Wave Ruler page at the Royal Navy's website
- RFA Wave Ruler on Operation Taurus returning from Singapore to the UK (Video)
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