16 Aug 2018

RFA Tideforce arrives in Cornwall for customisation

The fourth and final Tide class tanker, RFA Tideforce, has arrived in Cornwall for customisation ahead of entering service.

The 39,000 tonne vessel, which will deliver fuel and water to Royal Navy ships on operations all over the world, follows her sister ships Tidespring, Tiderace and Tidesurge into the A&P Falmouth yard, where work to customise the fleet ahead of operational service is sustaining 300 jobs.

With the homecoming voyage complete, all four of the tankers have now arrived safely in the UK, marking the end of a crucial phase of the fleet’s delivery programme.

Each of the Tide class ships is as long as three jumbo jets and has a flight deck large enough for a Chinook helicopter to land on. Like the rest of the fleet, Tideforce is equipped to refuel Royal Navy warships, including the two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, in hostile environments and challenging sea conditions.

Customisation work, including the installation of communications equipment and defensive systems, is sustaining hundreds of jobs in A&P Falmouth, while the wider Tide class programme is sustaining further jobs at 26 other companies throughout the UK.

Minister for Defence Procurement Stuart Andrew said: “Tideforce’s arrival completes our new tanker fleet, ensuring our warships can continue their essential work across the globe. Hundreds of Cornwall workers will now install state-of-the-art systems before she joins her sister ships on operations next year.

“Providing everything from a floating helipad, to a refuelling vessel for our brand-new aircraft carriers, we are delivering the equipment our Armed Forces need to combat illegal trade, safeguard our waters and promote peace throughout the world.”

image © Crown Copyright

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