The British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) has welcomed its fourth Tide-class replenishment tanker, RFA Tideforce, into the fleet during a service of dedication ceremony in Dorset.
The induction of RFA Tideforce completes the UK’s new tanker fleet, comprising a total of four new-generation tankers.
The 39,000t ships are designed to provide fuel, fresh water, food, and other supplies at sea to Royal Navy, Nato, and allied warships.
Other vessels in the new class of four tankers include Tidespring, Tiderace, and Tidesurge, which are all already in service.
RFA head commodore Duncan Lamb said: “RFA Tideforce’s arrival into the Royal Fleet Auxiliary represents the culmination of a major project to modernise and update the UK’s Fleet Replenishment Tankers.
“I am indebted to all from the UK and abroad who have contributed to the success of the project and the ship’s company, who have provided the final piece of the jigsaw by bringing the ship alive through delivery, trials, and training.”
Prior to its official acceptance, Tideforce underwent customisation works in Falmouth, Cornwall and completed extensive trials.
The vessel was fitted with military equipment, including communications and IT systems, and defensive weaponry.
Fleet Commander Admiral Kyd said: “This is the next chapter in the regeneration of our Fleet. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary are a critical part of our Fleet and I look forward to a new era of carrier power projection.”
Each of the vessels in the Tide-class is capable of delivering more than 1,500m³ of fuel per hour.
The four ships can also be deployed to perform duties such as patrols policing shipping lanes and humanitarian relief.