The third of the British Royal Navy’s four new Tide-class support tankers has arrived at the A&P yard in Falmouth, Cornwall, from the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) yard in South Korea.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Tidesurge is set to undergo customisation works and trials following its arrival in the UK, before entering service with the Royal Navy.
Each of the four 39,000t tankers is expected to be able to carry up to 19,000m3 of fuel and 1,400m3 of fresh water in order to support the country’s naval operations worldwide.
Detailed customisation works are currently being carried out at the A&P shipyard to prepare RFA Tidesurge and its sister vessels for service with the Royal Navy.
The works are expected to sustain approximately 300 jobs.
RFA Tidesurge is slated to be equipped with UK-specific armour, self-defence weaponry and communications systems at the Falmouth shipyard.
UK Defence Procurement Minister Guto Bebb said: “The arrival of RFA Tidesurge in Cornwall marks another key milestone in the Tide Class programme.
“Tidesurge will soon join her sister ships in providing the integral support, which powers our warships and helps our Royal Navy maintain a truly global presence.”
The UK Government originally awarded £450m contract to DSME for the tanker programme in March 2012.
Approximately one third of the total contract amount is anticipated to be spent on the installation of customised UK communications and weapons systems on-board the vessels.
The total UK work plan in the Tide-class programme, including A&P, is expected to be worth roughly £150m.
It will also sustain additional job opportunities at 27 local companies.
The customisation work is expected to take place over a period of around four months, which will be followed by the initiation of the vessel’s final sea trials before it enters service with the Royal Navy towards the end of this year.
In addition, the lead vessel of the class, RFA Tidespring, recently met up with the British Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth at sea for the first time.
The second ship, RFA Tiderace, is currently undergoing preparations for its capability trials, which are expected to begin early this month.
Furthermore, the fourth Tide-class ship, RFA Tideforce, is expected to be delivered to the navy later this year.