Surge of interest in Cornwall as new RFA tanker arrives

Topic: Fighting armsRoyal Auxiliary Fleet

Tugs help the third of the RFA’s four new-generation tankers alongside at the A&P yard in Falmouth following a mammoth delivery journey.

Surge of interest in Cornwall as new RFA tanker arrivesTidesurge has spent the past month and more hopping across the Pacific and Atlantic from the yard in South Korea where she was built via Japan, Hawaii, the Panama Canal and Caribbean – an odyssey of around 16,000 miles.

Now the work of turning her into a military tanker begins – one third of the £450m budget for the quartet is being spent in Blighty as bespoke UK comms and weapons systems are installed – with some 27 British firms involved in that side of the process.

Once finished, the Fleet will get a 39,000-tonne tanker carrying up to 19,000 cubic metres of fuel and 1,400 cubic metres of fresh water which will be at the heart of task group operations, especially carrier groups.

And for those of you who don’t think in cubic metres… 19,000 cubic metres are the equivalent of 19 million litre bottles of cola… or the capacity of more than 350,000 ‘supermini’ fuel tanks.

As Tidesurge arrives in Cornwall to begin her four-month conversion, so Tiderace departs to start her sea trial and work-up ready to begin front-line service.

The lead ship in the class, RFA Tidespring, is already in service, providing fuel to British and visiting warships going through training off Plymouth.

And the last of the quartet, Tideforce, has been formally named and is in the later stages of fitting out at the DSME yard.