The UK Royal Navy has commissioned the newest Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship Tidesurge during a dedication service at Greenock’s Ocean Terminal.
Prior to the induction, Tidesurge underwent a detailed customisation programme at the A&P ship repair yard in Falmouth.
With the commissioning, the 39,000t fleet replenishment tanker becomes the third RFA ship to be placed into service. Sister ships RFA Tidespring and Tiderace are already in service.
The fourth of class of the Military Afloat Reach & Sustainability Tankers, RFA Tideforce, is expected to become operational later this year.
Defence Equipment and Support commercially-supported shipping head David Farmer said: “The Tide-class is a truly world-leading fleet of new supply vessels which has already been proven in operational deployments, including those alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth.”
The Tide-class tankers are double-hulled vessels that are designed to provide a key future underway replenishment at sea capability and support to the Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
RFA head commodore Duncan Lamb said: “Royal Fleet Auxiliary Tidesurge is the third of our four new fleet replenishment tankers.
“With her flight deck capable of operating Chinook helicopters, double probe replenishment at sea rigs, self-defence capability, and versatile fuel cargo system, she represents a crucial element of the Royal Navy task group of the future and a key enabler of our navy’s global reach.”
RFA Tidesurge will also be used to deliver fuel and water to Royal Navy warships deployed in missions around the world.
In addition, the vessels will perform support a range of maritime operations, including constabulary patrols policing shipping lanes, humanitarian relief, and provide support to Nato and allied nations in their operations.
The delivery of the Tide-class vessels is part of the UK Government’s £179bn plan to boost the Armed Forces’ operations through the provision of necessary equipment.
In November, Tidesurge performed launch and land trials with the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter.