Royal Navy’s new lead tanker awaits commissioning

The lead ship in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s new tanker fleet, the RFA Tidespring, has arrived in Portsmouth before her November 27 dedication ceremony.

The Royal Navy said the 39,000-tonne tanker would be brought into service by the RFA, which is the civilian-manned fleet of support vessels that provide fuel, food and stores for Royal Navy warships.

The versatile vessel will provide key support to the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

The Tide-class tankers are replacing the RFA’s ageing single-hulled tankers. Larger than their predecessors and double hulled, they are an advanced capability specifically designed to provide fuel and water to the carriers.

They can also accommodate a Chinook helicopter on their flight decks.

They will undertake a range of maritime operations such as policing shipping lanes and providing humanitarian relief. The ship will predominately be based at Falmouth.

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