RFA Tidesurge Surges into Shipyard
Onlookers were treated to a striking view as the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s (RFA) Tide class tanker RFA Tidesurge sailed up the River Mersey to Cammell Laird in Birkenhead.
Tug boats came alongside RFA Tidesurge as it approached the shipyard on January 10, helping to manoeuvre the 39,000 tonne vessel into Cammell Laird’s non-tidal wet basin with pinpoint accuracy. Survey work will now be carried out on the ship during its initial docking period, as well as general repair and maintenance projects.
Cammell Laird provides support for nine RFA vessels as part of two 10-year Through Life Support contracts awarded in 2018. It is responsible for maintenance work on all four Tide class tankers – RFA Tidesurge, RFA Tidespring, RFA Tiderace and RFA Tideforce. In addition, Cammell Laird provides support for the vessels RFA Fort Victoria, RFA Fort Austin, RFA Fort Rosalie, RFA Wave Knight and RFA Wave Ruler, which it has done since 2008.
Tide class tankers are the newest addition to the RFA Flotilla, designed to supply the Royal Navy’s warships, including the two new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, with fuel and water while deployed on operations. They are as long as three jumbo jets lined up nose-to-tail, and can carry 19,000 metres cubed of fuel and 1,300 metres cubed of fresh water.
RFA Tidesurge travelled close to 30,000 nautical miles in its debut operational year. During that time the ship has carried out a wide range of duties, including providing training opportunities to multiple navies, and resupplying Royal Navy and NATO vessels.