The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has named the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s (RFA) new fleet of military afloat reach and sustainability (MARS) tankers as the Tide-class.
The four Tide-class MARS tankers will individually be called Tidespring, Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce.
RFA head commodore Bill Walworth said: "The original Tides were the first purpose-built fleet tankers to support aircraft carriers and were highly successful and popular ships.
"The new Tides promise to be better still."
The original Tidespring received a Battle Honour award in 1982, whereas the original Tiderace was renamed Tideflow following its deployment in the Suez Crisis to avoid confusion with another ship.
Tidesurge was named after the RFA Tiderange, which served the navy until 1976; while Tideforce is a new name in the RFA fleet.
The UK MoD awarded a contract to Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) to construct four MARS tankers earlier this year to replace the existing RFA’s single hulled tankers, while providing the ability to refuel Royal Navy warships.
As part of the deal, up to £150m of associated contracts will be awarded to UK companies to carry out support and maintenance activities that include providing key equipment, systems, design and support services, as well as customisation, trials and specialist engineering support.
The new next-generation 37,000t MARS tankers are expected to enter service beginning in 2016 to support deployed amphibious, land and air forces close to the shore and to allow incorporation of upgrades and new technologies in future.
Image: Illustration of new Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s MARS tanker. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.