Replenishment oiler RFA Tideforce (A139)

Replenishment oiler RFA Tideforce (A139) 0Replenishment oiler RFA Tideforce (A139) 1Replenishment oiler RFA Tideforce (A139) 2

Classification

Basic information

Operator:
Country of build:
Laid down:
Launched:
Commissioned (service):
Status:
IMO number:
9655561

Ship measurements

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

Machine

Propulsion system:
Propulsion:
  • Diesel Hybrid
  • 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 Tideforce, a Tide-class oil replenishment oiler within the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), was launched in 2017 and commenced service with the RFA in 2019.

Constructed by DSME in South Korea, Tideforce, the fourth and final vessel in her class, had her steel initially cut on December 2, 2015, and was laid down later that month on December 24, 2015. Approximately nine months after, the ship was fully assembled and floated out by September 12, 2016. A series of trials overseen by builders began, and by June 2018, the vessel set course from South Korea for delivery to the United Kingdom, passing through San Diego and the Panama Canal. Upon arrival in Falmouth on August 22, 2018, Tideforce underwent outfitting, involving the installment of communication apparatus, defensive mechanisms, a floating helipad, and refueling equipment. Post-outfitting, the ship underwent capability evaluations, replenishment at sea (RAS) exercises, and maiden flying trials. Her first RAS occurred alongside RFA Fort Victoria near the Isle of Portland, followed by another RAS with her sister ship RFA Tidesurge. Subsequently, in July 2019, Tideforce achieved significant milestones, conducting her initial RAS with the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and furthering this by engaging in her maiden RAS with a foreign vessel, the HNLMS Friesland of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

On July 30, 2019, Tideforce commenced active duty with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, becoming the final vessel in her class to do so, following her sister ships Tidespring, Tiderace, and Tidesurge. In September, the ship joined the UK Carrier Strike Group for the Westlant 19 deployment to the United States.

In August 2020, Tideforce rendezvoused with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 for replenishment purposes. In March, during aviation training off the Devon and Dorset coast, the ship responded to an emergency call from a Dutch-flagged vessel, providing aid to an injured sailor. In the same month, she joined eight UK naval ships in addressing seven Russian vessels near British waters. By June, the ship successfully executed the first nighttime replenishment at sea with a Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier.

Come October 2022, Tideforce, along with an embarked Wildcat helicopter, was deployed to the Turks and Caicos islands to support the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force in managing escalating gang violence in the region.

In July 2023, Tideforce participated in replenishment-at-sea exercises with MV Raleigh Fisher, a merchant navy vessel contracted to the MoD, as part of trials to assess replenishment capabilities with merchant navy ships. By September 2023, the ship received orders to escort HMS Queen Elizabeth during her «Operation FIREDRAKE» deployment in northern European waters.

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