First Of New Class Of Royal Navy Support Ships Enters Service

New tanker enters service for HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales...

The first of a new class of Royal Navy support ships is entering service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

RFA Tidespring is the first of four Tide Class tankers, and today a dedication service took place in Portsmouth to officially welcome her into the fleet. 

Tidespring and her three sister tankers will be critical to the operations of the nation's flagship-to-be, HMS Queen Elizabeth

RFA Tidespring at sea with Royal Navy warship

The 39,000-tonne vessel will be dedicated to providing the two new aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, with fuel food and water.

The ship is a state of the art, double skinned tanker, designed in Britain and built in South Korea. 

The tanker also has a flight deck able to accommodate a large Chinook helicopter and will also provide support for other warships within the fleet, wherever they are deployed around the world.

RFA Tidespring Info Graphic

The Royal Navy says the new class of ships will offer significant improvement on previous RFA tankers.

His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex attended the dedication service and inspected the ship's company in his role of Commodore-in-Chief of the RFA.

RFA Tidespring’s Commanding Officer Captain Simon Herbert said he was looking forward to taking the helm of the vessel:

“Sailing the first class of any ships is an immense privilege and I am extremely proud to be able to bring this highly modern, capable ship into Portsmouth Naval Base."

RFA Tidespring supporting warship
RFA Tidespring enters marina

Forces News went to visit RFA Tidespring when it first arrived in the UK in April 2017: