First Tide-class tanker reaches UK waters

RFA Tidespring is now docked in Falmouth ahead of her customization work. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence

RFA Tidespring, the lead ship of the new Tide-class tankers built for Great Britain by the South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, arrived in the UK on April 2.

Tidespring started her journey from South Korea in February after being officially accepted by the UK Ministry of Defence on January 12, 2017.

Tidespring was laid down in December 2014 and launched in April 2015. The tanker was expected to reach UK waters in 2016 for further outfitting but was delayed by electrical design changes and wiring issues.

RFA Tiderace, the second tanker in line, was unveiled in South Korea in December 2016. Despite the delays on the first vessel, the UK still expects to have all four tankers delivered by 2018.

BMT Defence Services-designed RFA Tidespring, RFA Tiderace, RFA Tidesurge and RFA Tideforce are 201 meters long, with a beam of nearly 29 meters and a displacement of more than 37,000 tonnes.

The tankers will maintain the Royal Navy’s ability to refuel at sea and will provide fuel to warships and task groups. They will support deployed amphibious, land and air forces close to the shore and will have the ability to operate helicopters.

“It’s fantastic to see that RFA TIDESPRING has arrived in the UK. As her designer, this is an extremely proud moment for everyone that has been involved in this project,” said Muir Macdonald, managing director of BMT Defence Services

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