Wave-class tanker

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Wave class
RFA Wave Knight
RFA Wave Knight at anchor in Plymouth 2006
Class overview
Name: Wave class
Builders: VSEL (later BAE Systems Marine)
Operators: RFA Ensign Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Preceded by: Ol class
Succeeded by: Tide class
In commission: 8 April 2003-present
Completed: 2
Active: 2
General characteristics [1][2][3]
Type: Fast fleet tanker
Displacement: 31,500 tonnes approx
Length: 196.5 m (644 ft 8 in)
Beam: 28.25 m (92 ft 8 in)
Draft: 9.97 m (32 ft 9 in)
Propulsion:
  • Diesel-electric:
  • 4 × Wartsila 12V 32E/GECLM diesel generators 25,514 metric horsepower (18.76 MW)
  • 2 × GEC Alstom motors with Cegelec variable speed converters 19,040 metric horsepower (14 MW)
  • 1 × shaft
  • 18t thrust electric Kamewa bow thruster and 12t thrust electric stern thruster, both powered by Cegelec variable speed drives and motors
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h)
Range: 10,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Capacity:
  • 16,000 m3 of liquids (of which 3,000 m3 aviation fuel & 380 m3 fresh water)
  • 125 tonnes of lubricating oil
  • 500 m3 of solids
  • 150 tonnes of fresh food in eight 20 ft refrigerated container units.
Complement: 80 Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel with provision for 22 Royal Navy personnel for helicopter and weapons systems operations
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Surface search: E/F band
  • Navigation: KH 1077, I-band
  • Kelvin Hughes Ltd SharpEye navigation radar[4]
  • IFF: Type 1017
Armament:
Aircraft carried: 1 × Merlin helicopter with full hangar facilities

The Wave-class tankers are a class of fast fleet tankers in service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The class is tasked with providing fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world. There are two ships in the class, RFA Wave Knight and RFA Wave Ruler. The ships were ordered to replace the aging Ol-class tankers RFA Olna and RFA Olwen.[3] The two vessels have seen service in a number of locations, including anti-drug and hurricane relief operations in the Caribbean Sea,[5][6][7] anti-piracy activities around the Horn of Africa[8][9] and deterrent patrols in the South Atlantic.[10][11]

History[edit]

A contract was placed for the vessels in 1997 with Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd (Marconi Marine VSEL). Construction of Wave Knight began in 1998 at VSEL's Barrow-in-Furness yard and the ship was launched in 2000.[1] With the acquisition of Marconi Electronic Systems and its Marconi Marine subsidiary in 1999 British Aerospace became BAE Systems. BAE now owns VSEL in Barrow and the Yarrow and Govan shipyards on the Clyde. BAE transferred the construction of Wave Ruler to Govan in 2000 and the vessel was launched in 2001. Both vessels were commissioned in 2003.

Design[edit]

The ships have 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, the ships are also able to deliver fuel to dracones positioned alongside. The equipment load includes cranes (for stores handling and abeam replenishment), steering and rudder gear, thyristor-controlled winch/windlasses and double drum mooring winches. Up to 16,000 m3 (570,000 cu ft) of liquids and 500 m3 (18,000 cu ft) of general solids can be carried. In addition, reverse-osmosis equipment is fitted enabling the production of 100 m3 (3,500 cu ft) of drinkable water per day.[3]

The vessels were designed with double hulls to prevent or reduce environmental pollution from oil spills if damage is sustained to the outer hull.[2]

The ships can operate a Merlin HM1 helicopter, or other helicopters of similar size, from a hangar and flight deck at the stern. On deployments to Atlantic Patrol Task (N) they have typically embarked a Royal Navy Lynx or a United States Coast Guard helicopter.

The vessels have 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.[3] They carry a full medical team and sick bay and are capable of distributing 2,000 emergency relief packages in times of crisis.[12]

Construction programme[edit]

Name Pennant Builder Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned
Wave Knight A389 VSEL (later BAE Systems), Barrow-in-Furness[1] 12 March 1997[1] 22 October 1998[1] 29 September 2000[1] 8 April 2003[1]
Wave Ruler A390 BAE Systems, Govan[1] 12 March 1997[1] 10 February 2000[1] 9 February 2001[1] 27 April 2003[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Jane's Fighting Ships, 2004-2005. Jane's Information Group Limited. p. 817. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.
  2. ^ a b Wave Class Fast Fleet Tankers at the Royal Navy homepage Archived 28 July 2010 on Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b c d "Wave Class Royal Fleet Auxiliary, United Kingdom". naval-technology.com. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "New navigation radar system for Royal Navy". Government of the United Kingdom. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "Navy ships help after hurricane.". BBC News. 31 August 2008. 
  6. ^ "5am update: Storm causes damage, slams Sister Islands". Cayman Compass. 2008-11-08. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  7. ^ "Cuba welcomes RN anti-drug ship". BBC News. 5 October 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Sailors Help Foil Pirate Attacks". Western Morning News. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "RFA Wave Knight Disrupts Pirate Attacks". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 1 October 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  10. ^ "Gordon Brown says UK is prepared in Falkland Islands". BBC News. 18 February 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  11. ^ [1] Archived 15 March 2012 on Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ [2][dead link]

External links[edit]