Wave Class

Fast Fleet Tanker

The Fast Fleet Tankers are designed to support the Royal Navy in global operations, which include amphibious warfare, anti-submarine operations and protections of vital sea areas and shipping. They have the ability to deliver fuel through a Replenishment At Sea (RAS) rig, either port or starboard or astern to other vessels.


At a glance

29.5 metres

Beam length


16,900 tonnes

Fuel cargo capacity


10,000 nautical miles


top speed

20 knots

Top speed

Protecting the environment

Wave Class are double-hulled tankers, which meet the current International Maritime Organisation legislation for protecting the environment.

Weapons and capabilities

DS30B 30mm Gun

Automated small calibre gun

A single mounting carrying an Oerlikon 30mm gun, it was designed as a ship-protection system to defend Royal Navy frigates from various short-range missiles, rockets, grenades and explosives. 

The gun is controlled from a remote operator console elsewhere on the ship.


Close-in weapon

Phalanx is one of the deadly last lines of defence for Britain's warships. Capable of engaging targets around one mile away, it is a radar-controlled Gatling gun which fires 20mm shells, spewing out 3,000 rounds a minute.

Designed to engage incoming enemy aircraft and missiles if they penetrated a ship or task group's outer ring of defences such as Sea Viper or Sea Dart.

During Operation Telic, Phalanx guns were removed from ships and used to defend Basra airport, the hub of British operations, they saw extensive action against incoming rockets and mortars fired by insurgents.

Being a part of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary

3/O Brown, 30

Marine Engineer Officer

I get three months off for every four months I’m at sea. I’ve used that time to travel even more of the world – there aren’t many jobs that offer that sort of opportunity.

Click on a location to explore our operations

Middle East


Units of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary have been on patrol in the Gulf since October 1980, after the Iran/Iraq conflict of that year, and more recently operations have extended further south with the increase in piracy off the Somalia coast. 


Ships, units and aircraft need periods of maintenance and sea-going trials to ensure that they are at their best for any tasks asked of them.

South Atlantic

Atlantic Patrol Tasking South

Ships and units on Atlantic Patrol Tasking provide ongoing protection and reassurance to British interests in the Atlantic, maintaining the continuous Royal Naval presence in the Atlantic.