The British Royal Navy has commissioned the second Tide-class tanker Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), Tiderace, into service during a dedication ceremony in Portland, UK.
The 39,000t tanker is expected to be deployed to sustain the country’s new aircraft carriers during their global missions and support operations for the next 30 years.
RFA head commodore Duncan Lamb said: “Today’s Tiderace is a most welcome and fitting addition to the modern Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
“Bringing a new ship into service is a demanding endeavour, which relies on a diverse, multi-skilled team, strong leadership and unflinching determination.
“Tiderace bears testimony to this and I pay tribute to the men and women in the UK and around the globe, military and civilian who have contributed to this project and made today possible.”
Tiderace completed her maiden helicopter trials in Plymouth prior to the dedication ceremony.
The trials saw a Merlin Mk2 aircraft from the 814 Naval Air Squadron land on the vessel’s flight deck for the first time.
A total of four Tide-class ships have been built for the Royal Navy, including Tiderace’s sister vessels Tidespring, Tidesurge, and Tideforce, in South Korea by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering under a contract worth £450m.
The lead vessel of the class, RFA Tidespring, is already in service and is now supporting operations and training around the UK.
The third vessel, Tidesurge, arrived in the UK in March for customisation and trials.
It is currently being fitted out in Falmouth with UK-specific armour, self-defence weaponry and communications systems.
Tideforce, the final of four Tide-class tankers, is on its delivery voyage from South Korea and is also anticipated to receive British military communications kit and weaponry.
The vessels each have the capability to deliver more than 1,500m3 of fuel per hour, which can fill the tanks of over 27,000 family runarounds.
Each of the four tankers is intended to serve as the mainstay of a carrier strike group, supporting HMS Queen Elizabeth or Prince of Wales, a Type 45 destroyer, Type 23 or 26 frigate and an Astute-class hunter-killer submarine.