Replenishment oiler RFA Tidespring (A136)

Replenishment oiler RFA Tidespring (A136) 0Replenishment oiler RFA Tidespring (A136) 1Replenishment oiler RFA Tidespring (A136) 2Replenishment oiler RFA Tidespring (A136) 3

Classification

Basic information

Operator:
Country of build:
Laid down:
Launched:
Commissioned (service):
Status:
IMO number:
9655535
MMSI number:
235109357

Ship measurements

Displacement:
37,000 t
Length:
200.9 m
Beam:
28.6 m
Draft:
10 m

Machine

Propulsion system:
Propulsion:
  • Combined diesel-electric or diesel
  • 2 * 7,500 kW Wärtsilä main engines
  • 2 * 3,170 kW Wärtsilä diesel generators
  • 2 * 1,000 kW Wärtsilä bow thrusters
Speed:
20 knots
Range:
18,200 nautical miles (33,700 km; 20,900 mi)

Personnel

Complement:
63
Embarked units:
46

Combat assets

Cargo capacity:
  • Tanks for diesel oil, aviation fuel (19,000 m³) and fresh water (1,400 m³)
  • Lubrication oil stored in drums
  • Stowage for up to eight 20 ft containers
Electronics:
  • Kelvin Hughes Integrated Bridge System
  • Servowatch IPMS System
  • 3 * SharpEye radar
Armament:
  • 2 * Phalanx CIWS (fitted for, depending on deployment)
  • 2 * 30 mm cannons (fitted for, depending on deployment)
Aircraft:
  • 1 * medium helicopter with full hangar facilities (Merlin / Wildcat), flight deck capable of landing Chinook-size helicopter

RFA Tidespring, a Tide-class replenishment oiler belonging to the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), was constructed by DSME in 2016 and commenced service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in November 2017.

The building of Tidespring was overseen by DSME in South Korea, with RFA Commodore Rob Dorey initiating the steel cutting on June 24, 2014. The ship's laying down occurred on December 22, 2014, followed by its launch on April 25, 2015. Subsequent sea trials by the builders began on March 29, 2015, concluding by July 1, 2016. However, compliance with new legislative regulations concerning electrical components and the installation of Multi-Cable Transit insulation caused a delay in the ship's delivery to the UK.

Setting off from South Korea on February 5, 2017, the vessel made stopovers at Yokosuka, Japan, and Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, en route to the UK. Navigating the Panama Canal into the Atlantic Ocean, it reached Falmouth, England, on March 31, 2017. The ship underwent drydocking at Falmouth Docks for outfitting by A&P Group on April 27, 2017. On May 10, 2017, a crane collapsed near the ship during drydocking, fortunately causing no harm to the vessel.

Departing Falmouth for final assessment trials on September 1, 2017, Tidespring underwent various evaluations, including her maiden visit to Gibraltar, flying trials as the first in its class, and its initial replenishment at sea (RAS) with RFA Wave Knight. Officially joining the RFA on November 27, 2017.

Initially scheduled to carry out its first replenishment at sea with HMS Queen Elizabeth on February 26, 2018, inclement weather forced the cancellation of the procedure, marking the first RAS for both vessels. Instead, Tidespring and Queen Elizabeth executed a complete simulation of the scenario. In April, the ship engaged in the semiannual Exercise Joint Warrior, a substantial NATO military drill held off Scotland's coastline.

In March 2019, the ship underwent maintenance and refitting at Cammell Laird's shipyard in Birkenhead. A year later, it was part of the largest Royal Navy response to a flotilla of Russian warships in the North Sea. In September 2020, Tidespring accompanied HMS Sutherland during naval exercises in the Barents Sea alongside vessels from the Danish, Norwegian, and American navies.

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