Tide-class tanker

This article is about the ships currently under construction. For the Cold War tankers, see Tide-class replenishment oiler.
A CGI of the Tide-class tanker
Class overview
Name: Tide class
Builders: DSME
Operators: Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Preceded by: Leaf class and Rover class
  • £452 million for 4 RFA vessels
  • £140 million for HNoMS Maud
In service: from 2017
Planned: 4 (RFA) + 1 (Norway)
General characteristics [1]
Type: Fast Fleet Tanker
Displacement: 37,000 t (36,000 long tons)
Length: 200.9 m (659 ft 1 in)
Beam: 28.6 m (93 ft 10 in)[2]
Draft: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
Propulsion: CODELOD
Speed: 26.8 knots (49.6 km/h; 30.8 mph)
Range: 18,200 nautical miles (33,700 km; 20,900 mi)
  • Tanks for diesel oil, aviation fuel and fresh water
  • Lubrication oil stored in drums
  • Stowage for up to 8 × 20 containers
Complement: 63 plus 46 non-crew embarked persons (Royal Marines, flight crew, trainees)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Kelvin Hughes Integrated Bridge System
  • Servowatch IPMS System
  • 3 × SharpEye radar[3]
  • 2 × Phalanx CIWS
  • 2 × 30 mm cannons
Aircraft carried: 1 medium helicopter with full hangar facilities

The Tide-class tanker (formerly the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) project) is a class of four fast fleet tankers that will enter service with the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary from 2017. The 37,000 t ships will provide fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels around the world. Norway has ordered a 26,000 t version with a 48-bed hospital and greater solid stores capacity, for delivery in October 2016 as HNoMS Maud.

The two variants are both based on the AEGIR design from Britain's BMT Defence Services but are being built by Daewoo in South Korea with final outfitting in the UK and Norway respectively. Britain ordered four ships in February 2012 at a cost of £452m, causing controversy for being built abroad. The Norwegians ordered their ship in June 2013 for NOK1,320m (~£140m).


On 22 February 2012 an order for four tankers was placed with Daewoo at a cost of £452 million, of which £150m would be spent in Britain.[4] Building ships in South Korea caused controversy in Britain, but no British yards had tendered for the order[4] as they were all busy on the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. On 14 November 2012 it was announced that the new class would revive names from the Cold War Tide-class oilers - Tidespring (A136), Tiderace (A137), Tidesurge (A138), and the new name Tideforce (A139).[5] The previous Tidespring earned a battle honour in 1982 for her service during the Falklands War, which included transporting a company of Royal Marines to recapture South Georgia. The board carrying the honour and the ship's badge were both taken to Korea for installation in the new Tidespring.[6]


RFA Tide-class

The Tide-class are a 200.9 m (659 ft 1 in), 37,000 t derivative of BMT Defence Services' AEGIR-26 design,[7] whose origins lie in a civilian tanker from Skipskonsulent of Norway.[8] They are double-hulled to reduce or prevent oil being lost by damage to the outer hull, in line with the MARPOL regulations for civilian tankers (from which military tankers are partially exempt). As well as being safer, this means that Tides can go to places that discouraged their single-hulled predecessors - the two remaining Rover-class vessels and the recently decommissioned Leaf-class tankers.[9]

There are three abeam replenishment at sea (RAS) stations for diesel oil, aviation fuel and fresh water. The flight deck and helicopter hangar allow vertical replenishment at sea.[1] Propulsion uses medium-speed diesel engines driving twin shafts[10] in a hybrid CODELOD (Combined Diesel Electric or Diesel) arrangement[11] designed for fuel efficiency across a wide range of speeds.

Other variants

BMT offer the AEGIR fleet tanker in three sizes. The AEGIR-10, AEGIR-18 and AEGIR-26 are 10,000 DWT, 18,000 DWT and 26,000 DWT respectively, and can carry 8,000 m3 (2,100,000 US gal), 16,000 m3 (4,200,000 US gal) and 24,000 m3 (6,300,000 US gal) of fuel.[10] The AEGIR-18R replenishment ship trades a third of its fuel capacity for 1,350 m3 (48,000 cu ft) of dry stores in an extended superstructure.[10] The standard AEGIR-18 has less range (10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi)) and is slower (18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)) than the British version.[10]

The design has been entered in a number of competitions, but as of March 2016 the only foreign order has been for an AEGIR-18R derivative from the Royal Norwegian Navy in 2013 (see below). The AEGIR-18A, a derivative of the AEGIR-18R like the Norwegian ship but with among other things better air-conditioning, was offered to Australia for Project SEA 1654 Phase 3, a requirement for two supply ships to replace HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius.[12] In June 2014 it was shortlisted along with the Buque de Aprovisionamiento en Combate, which would be built in Spain by Navantia,[12] who have built most of Australia's recent warships. In March 2016 Australia announced it would be buying the Spanish ship.[13] In March 2016 Daewoo also lost out to Hyundai in a competition to supply New Zealand with a tanker.[14] A 2014 Daewoo presentation points out that India, Singapore and Brazil all need new supply ships in the near future.[15]


Royal Fleet Auxiliary

First steel was cut on 24 June 2014 for RFA Tidespring,[6] and she was named in a ceremony on 7 October 2015.[16] She was expected to arrive in Falmouth in spring 2016 to allow A&P Group to fit military equipment such as communications gear.[17] Following sea trials, Tidespring was to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2016,[18] with her three sister ships following at six-month intervals.[19] In August 2016 it was reported that RFA Tidespring was still undergoing trials with builder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea;[20] she will now not arrive in the UK until 2017, with her sisters entering service by the end of 2018.[21]

Royal Norwegian Navy

HNoMS Maud[22] was ordered on 28 June 2013[15] to replace HNoMS Tyr and HNoMS Valkyrien[23] at a cost of NOK1,320m[23] (~£140m}[24] with 100% offsets.[23] She is based on the AEGIR-18R design.[7] but includes a 48-bed[25] hospital underneath the flight deck with an operating theatre, isolation ward and CT scanner.[26] She can carry 7000 tonnes of F76 fuel oil, 300 tonnes of F44/JP-5 jet fuel, 200 tonnes of ammunition and 40 ISO containers or a mix of vehicles and boats.[15] She has two abeam RAS rigs and a stern reel, and a 25-tonne deck crane.[15] A side ramp allows easy access for vehicles and for the support of submarines and other small vessels.[15] The flight deck can accommodate helicopters up to CH-53 Super Stallion size, and the hangar can operate one NH90 with level 2 maintenance or stow a second.[15] The core crew will be 40-50, with accommodation for 100 more if needed;[23] facilities include a gym and sauna.[15] Four Sea PROTECTOR remote weapon stations are planned.[15]

First steel for Maud was cut on 14 April 2015 and delivery is planned for 30 September 2016.[15] She will then sail to Norway and undergo acceptance trials in early 2017, followed by FOST in the UK and other exercises before full entry into service in January 2018.[15]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Tide Class MARS Tanker". BMT. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  2. "DSME Announced as Winning Bid for Royal Navy's MARS Tanker Competition". Defencepro Daily. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  3. "Kelvin Hughes to supply equipment for 4 MARS tankers vessels for Royal Fleet Auxiliary". navyrecognition.com. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  4. 1 2 "MOD to order four new RFA tankers". Ministry of Defence. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  5. "New fleet of RFA tankers named". Ministry of Defence. 14 November 2012.
  6. 1 2 "Lady sponsor announced for RFA Tidespring". 2 September 2014.
  7. 1 2 "Euronaval News" (PDF). SOGENA. 29 October 2014. p. 6.
  8. "Aegir-18R A flexible multiple-commodity fleet support vessel" (PDF). BMT Defence Services. 2 September 2008.
  9. "MoD buys £452m MARS tanker ships". Defence Management. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  10. 1 2 3 4 "Aegir® A family of naval task force support ship designs" (PDF). BMT Defence Services. 19 October 2011.
  11. "RENK develops its naval market domain with large Navy orders". RENK AG, Augsburg. 2012.
  12. 1 2 Rahmat, Ridzwan (12 October 2015). "DSME, Navantia unveil design proposals for new RAN replenishment ships". IHS Jane's Navy International.
  13. Grevatt, Jon (10 March 2016). "Australia selects Navantia for new replenishment ship". IHS Jane's Defence Industry. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  14. Scott, Richard (3 March 2016). "HHI in frame for New Zealand tanker programme". IHS Jane's Navy International.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Lee, Sung Jin (27 August 2014). "Logistics Support Vessel HNoMS Maud". Sjømilitære Samfund.
  16. "Naval tanker RFA tidespring naming ceremony in okpo on 7 october". British Embassy Seoul. 8 October 2015.
  17. Maclean, Richard (12 October 2015). "MARS tankers expected next Spring". Falmouth Packet.
  18. "First MARS Tanker is named in South Korea" (PDF). desider. November 2015. p. 22.
  19. "RFA contract for A&P" (PDF). Ship and Offshore Repair Journal. March 2015. p. 4.
  20. "British Navy Sees Delay In Delivery Of South Korean-Built Tanker". Defense News. 4 August 2016.
  21. "Royal Fleet Auxiliary:Written question - HL2076". Hansard. 11 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
  22. "Largest ship of the Norwegian Navy under construction in South Korea". Royal Norwegian Embassy in Seoul. 25 June 2015.
  23. 1 2 3 4 "Inngår kontrakt om nytt logistikkfartøy" (in Norwegian). Skipsrevyen. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  24. "BMT Confirmed as Design Contractor for Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation's Logistics and Support Vessel". BMT Group Ltd. 1 July 2013.
  25. "Norwegian Navy orders new logistics vessel". Norway Post. 29 June 2013.
  26. "Saab receives design and integration orders for healthcare capability for Norwegian support vessel". Skipsrevyen. 7 October 2014.
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