Tidespring’s arrival into the Royal Fleet Auxiliary today is an exciting milestone in the history of the RFA.

Commodore Duncan Lamb

The Tide Class tankers are replacing the RFA’s single-hulled vessels. Significantly larger than their predecessors they are an advanced capability, specifically designed to provide fuel water and stores to the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers. They can also operate; Chinook, Merlin or Wildcat helicopters from their flight decks.

In addition to their supply duties in support of the RN, these state-of-the-art vessels will also provide a flexible capability to undertake a wide range of maritime operations, such as constabulary patrols policing shipping lanes and humanitarian relief, as well as providing support to NATO and coalition allies.

David Farmer, Head of the Commercially Supported Shipping Project Team at Defence Equipment and Support, said “The service of dedication is an occasion of immense pride for the dedicated and professional project team at DE&S who, working closely with the RFA, have overseen the construction and customisation of these world-class tankers which will support Royal Navy operations all over the world. We look forward to seeing Tidespring’s three sister ships, Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce, join her in active service over the coming months”.

The MARS Tanker programme has an extensive domestic supply chain involving around 27 UK companies.