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:||37,000 t (36,000 long tons; 41,000 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)|
|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 will enter service with the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary from 2017. The 37,000 t ships will provide fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world. Norway has ordered a 26,000 t version with a 48-bed hospital and greater solid stores capacity, for delivery in October 2016 as HNoMS Maud.
The two variants are both based on the AEGIR design from Britain's BMT Defence Services but are being 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, causing controversy for being built abroad. 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 cost of £452 million, of which £150m would be spent in Britain. Building ships in South Korea caused controversy in Britain, but no British yards had tendered for the order as they were all busy on the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. 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), 37,000 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 two remaining Rover-class vessels and the recently decommissioned Leaf-class tankers.
There are three abeam replenishment at sea (RAS) stations for diesel oil, aviation fuel and fresh water. The flight deck and helicopter hangar allow vertical replenishment at sea. 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||UK sea trials|
|Tiderace||A137||June 2015||November 2015||1 December 2016||On delivery voyage|
|Tidesurge||A138||7 December 2015||4 June 2016||29 August 2017||Builders sea trials|
|Tideforce||A139||24 December 2015||21 January 2017||Fitting out|
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. Delivery has since been postponed to early 2017.
- Tide-class replenishment oiler - 1950s class whose names are reused by some of the MARS ships
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