RFA Tideforce has been officially comissioned by Royal Fleet Auxiliary at a service of dedication ceremony at Portland Port in Dorset on 30 July.
RFA Tideforce is the fourth and final vessel of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) tankers, called “Tide-class”, which includes three sister ships, RFA Tidespring, Tiderace and Tidesurge, all of which are already in service.
During ceremony, Commodore Duncan Lamb, head of the RFA, 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.
“It’s incredible to think it’s taken only 13 months since delivery to today.”
The Tide-class tankers will provide replenishment at sea capability and support to the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, able to provide for two vessels simultaneously. Each of the four Tides can deliver more than 1,500 cubic metres of fuel every hour – nearly 400,000 gallons, or 1½ million litres… enough to fill the tanks of more than 27,000 family runarounds.
As well as their supply duties in support of the Royal Navy, the vessels can also undertake a wide range of independent operations, such as patrols policing shipping lanes and humanitarian relief.