Tiderace in August 2017
|Operators:||Royal Fleet Auxiliary|
|Preceded by:||Leaf class and Rover class|
|In service:||from 2017|
|Planned:||4 (RFA) + 1 (Norway)|
|General characteristics |
|Type:||Fast Fleet Tanker|
|Displacement:||39,000 t (38,000 long tons; 43,000 short tons)|
|Length:||200.9 m (659 ft 1 in)|
|Beam:||28.6 m (93 ft 10 in)|
|Draft:||10 m (32 ft 10 in)|
|Speed:||26.8 knots (49.6 km/h; 30.8 mph)|
|Range:||18,200 nautical miles (33,700 km; 20,900 mi)|
|Complement:||63 plus 46 non-crew embarked persons (Royal Marines, flight crew, trainees)|
|Sensors and |
|Aircraft carried:||1 x Wildcat or AgustaWestland Merlin|
The Tide-class tanker (formerly the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) project) is a class of four fast fleet tankers that entered service with the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary from 2017. The 37,000 t ships provide fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world. Norway ordered a 26,000 t version with a 48-bed hospital and greater solid stores capacity, it was delivered in November 2018 as HNoMS Maud two years after originally planned.
The two variants are both based on the AEGIR design from Britain's BMT Defence Services but were built by Daewoo in South Korea with final outfitting in the UK and Norway respectively. Britain ordered four ships in February 2012 at a cost of £452m for the building of the hulls, but in the end became £550m, causing controversy for being built abroad and so expensive. The Norwegians ordered their ship in June 2013 for NOK1,320m (~£140m).
On 22 February 2012 an order for four tankers was placed with Daewoo at a contract cost of £452m, plus an additional £150m to be spent in Britain, making a total cost for the four ships slightly over £600 million. Building ships in South Korea caused controversy in Britain, but no British yards tendered for the order. On 14 November 2012 it was announced that the new class would revive names from the Cold War Tide-class oilers - Tidespring (A136), Tiderace (A137), Tidesurge (A138), and the new name Tideforce (A139). The previous Tidespring earned a battle honour in 1982 for her service during the Falklands War, which included transporting a company of Royal Marines to recapture South Georgia. The board carrying the honour and the ship's badge were both taken to Korea for installation in the new Tidespring.
The Tide-class are a 200.9 m (659 ft 1 in), 39,000 t 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). As well as being safer, this means that Tides can go to places that discouraged their single-hulled predecessors - the recently decommissioned Rover-class vessels and Leaf-class tankers.
There are three stations for replenishment at sea (RAS) abeam, of diesel oil, aviation fuel and fresh water. The flight deck and helicopter hangar allow vertical RAS. The flight deck is large and strong enough for a Chinook helicopter to land on. Propulsion uses medium-speed diesel engines driving twin shafts in a hybrid CODELOD (Combined Diesel Electric Or Diesel) arrangement designed for fuel efficiency across a wide range of speeds.
BMT offer the AEGIR fleet tanker in three sizes. The AEGIR-10, AEGIR-18 and AEGIR-26 are 10,000 DWT, 18,000 DWT and 26,000 DWT respectively, and can carry 8,000 m3 (2,100,000 US gal), 16,000 m3 (4,200,000 US gal) and 24,000 m3 (6,300,000 US gal) of fuel. The AEGIR-18R replenishment ship trades a third of its fuel capacity for 1,350 m3 (48,000 cu ft) of dry stores in an extended superstructure. The standard AEGIR-18 has less range (10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi)) and is slower (18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)) than the British version.
The design has been entered in a number of competitions, but as of March 2016[update] the only foreign order has been for an AEGIR-18R derivative from the Royal Norwegian Navy in 2013 (see below). The AEGIR-18A, a derivative of the AEGIR-18R like the Norwegian ship but with among other things better air-conditioning, was offered to Australia for Project SEA 1654 Phase 3, a requirement for two supply ships to replace HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius. In June 2014 it was shortlisted along with the Buque de Aprovisionamiento en Combate, which would be built in Spain by Navantia, who have built most of Australia's recent warships. In March 2016 Australia announced it would be buying the Spanish ship. In March 2016 Daewoo also lost out to Hyundai in a competition to supply New Zealand with a tanker. A 2014 Daewoo presentation points out that India, Singapore and Brazil all need new supply ships in the near future.
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
First steel was cut on 24 June 2014 for RFA Tidespring, and she was named in a ceremony on 7 October 2015. She was 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 was to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2016, with her three sister ships following at six-month intervals. In August 2016 it was reported that RFA Tidespring was still undergoing trials with builder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea; procurement minister Harriett Baldwin has 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. Tidespring reached the UK in spring 2017, docking at Falmouth on 2 April for seventeen weeks to fit weapons and communications gear. Four months of acceptance trials will follow; her sisters will enter service by the end of 2018.
|Name||Pennant No.||Builder||Laid down||Launched||Named||Entered service||Status|
|Tidespring||A136||Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.||December 2014||April 2015||7 October 2015||27 November 2017||In Service|
|Tiderace||A137||June 2015||November 2015||1 December 2016||2 August 2018||In Service|
|Tidesurge||A138||7 December 2015||4 June 2016||29 August 2017||20 February 2019||In Service|
|Tideforce||A139||24 December 2015||21 January 2017||24 January 2018||30 July 2019||In Service|
HNoMS Maud was ordered on 28 June 2013 to replace HNoMS Tyr and HNoMS Valkyrien at a cost of NOK1,320m (~£140m) with 100% offsets. She is based on the AEGIR-18R design. but includes a 48-bed hospital underneath the flight deck with an operating theatre, isolation ward and CT scanner. She can carry 7000 tonnes of F76 fuel oil, 300 tonnes of F44/JP-5 jet fuel, 200 tonnes of ammunition and 40 ISO containers or a mix of vehicles and boats. She has two abeam RAS rigs and a stern reel, and a 25-tonne deck crane. A side ramp allows easy access for vehicles and for the support of submarines and other small vessels. The flight deck can accommodate helicopters up to CH-53 Super Stallion size, and the hangar can operate one NH90 with level 2 maintenance or stow a second. The core crew will be 40-50, with accommodation for 100 more if needed; facilities include a gym and sauna. Four Sea PROTECTOR remote weapon stations are planned.
First steel for Maud was cut on 14 April 2015. Delivery was planned for 30 September 2016 followed by acceptance trials in Norway in early 2017, and then FOST in the UK and other exercises before full entry into service in January 2018. However, delivery was postponed due to technical problems and the vessel was finally commissioned in Norway in May, 2019. 
- Tide-class replenishment oiler - 1950s class whose names are reused by some of the MARS ships
- John Lewis-class oiler - US equivalent, first four cost ~£1750m
- "Tide Class MARS Tanker". BMT. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "DSME Announced as Winning Bid for Royal Navy's MARS Tanker Competition". Defencepro Daily. 22 February 2012. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Tide-Class Tankers". gov.uk. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
- "Kelvin Hughes to supply equipment for 4 MARS tankers vessels for Royal Fleet Auxiliary". NavyRecognition.com. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "MOD to order four new RFA tankers". Ministry of Defence. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "New fleet of RFA tankers named". Ministry of Defence. 14 November 2012.
- "Lady sponsor announced for RFA Tidespring". Royal Navy. 2 September 2014.
- "First tanker to support Royal Navy carriers sails into Portsmouth". Royal Navy. 16 November 2017.
- "Aegir-18R A flexible multiple-commodity fleet support vessel" (PDF). BMT Defence Services. 2 September 2008.
- "MoD buys £452m MARS tanker ships". Defence Management. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Royal Fleet Auxiliary's new tanker arrives in UK for customisation work sustaining 300 jobs". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
- "Aegir® A family of naval task force support ship designs" (PDF). BMT Defence Services. 19 October 2011.
- "RENK develops its naval market domain with large Navy orders". RENK AG, Augsburg. 2012.
- Rahmat, Ridzwan (12 October 2015). "DSME, Navantia unveil design proposals for new RAN replenishment ships". IHS Jane's Navy International.
- Grevatt, Jon (10 March 2016). "Australia selects Navantia for new replenishment ship". IHS Jane's Defence Industry. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- Scott, Richard (3 March 2016). "HHI in frame for New Zealand tanker programme". IHS Jane's Navy International.
- Lee, Sung Jin (27 August 2014). "Logistics Support Vessel HNoMS Maud". Sjømilitære Samfund.
- "New naval tanker naming ceremony". British Embassy Seoul. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- Maclean, Richard (12 October 2015). "MARS tankers expected next Spring". Falmouth Packet.
- "First MARS Tanker is named in South Korea" (PDF). Desider. November 2015. p. 22.
- "RFA contract for A&P" (PDF). Ship and Offshore Repair Journal. 12 (6). March 2015. p. 4.
- "British Navy Sees Delay In Delivery Of South Korean-Built Tanker". Defense News. 4 August 2016.
- "Royal Fleet Auxiliary: Written question - 51473". UK Parliament. 1 November 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- Barnicoat, David (29 March 2017). "A&P Falmouth welcomes arrival of RFA fleet tanker after months of planning". Falmouth Packet. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
- "RFA Tiderace unveiled in South Korea". British Embassy Seoul. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- "RFA Tidesurge". HistoricalRFA.org.
- "공지 - 대우조선해양". DSME.co.kr.
- "RFA Tideforce". HistoricalRFA.org.
- "Chrzest RFA Tideforce". zbiam.pl. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
- "Largest ship of the Norwegian Navy under construction in South Korea". Royal Norwegian Embassy in Seoul. 25 June 2015.
- "Inngår kontrakt om nytt logistikkfartøy". Skipsrevyen (in Norwegian). 28 June 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- "BMT Confirmed as Design Contractor for Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation's Logistics and Support Vessel". BMT Group Ltd. 1 July 2013.
- "Norwegian Navy orders new logistics vessel". Norway Post. 29 June 2013.
- "Saab receives design and integration orders for healthcare capability for Norwegian support vessel". Skipsrevyen. 7 October 2014.
- "Skriftlig spørsmål fra Anniken Huitfeldt (A) til forsvarsministeren" [Written questions from Anniken Huitfeldt (A) to the Minister of Defence]. Storting of Norway (in Norwegian). 8 August 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2017.