Members of the Norwegian Navy have been training at HMS Raleigh as they prepare to take delivery of their new logistics support vessel.
The crew of HNoMS Maud is using the Replenishment-at-Sea (RAS) trainer at the base in Torpoint to practise transferring stores and supplies to other ships at sea.
HNoMS Maud is currently being built in South Korea and is a variation of the Royal Navy’s new Tide-class tanker. It will be the largest ship in the Norwegian Navy when it enters service.
HMS Raleigh’s RAS trainer was originally built to prove the designs of equipment fitted to the Tide-class tanker and the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers. Once the trials were complete the demonstrator was converted into a training facility and transferred to HMS Raleigh’s Royal Navy School of Seamanship.
Commander Fridtjof Joys Christensen, the Executive Officer of HNoMS Maud, said, “The HNoMS Maud is the first ship of its kind in the Norwegian Navy. So we need some expertise from the Royal Navy to train.
“We don’t have these facilities at home, so coming here and having one to one, hands-on training is very good. For this course we have nine crew members and five observers from our Navy’s seamanship department to observe and learn, so that they can carry out some basic training back at home.”
RAS is recognised as one of the most hazardous seamanship tasks. Ships can come within just 50 metres of each other and are linked together by heavy tensioned steel wires to transfer supplies. RAS can take place in all weather conditions, day or night.
An order for four Tide-class tankers has been placed by the Royal Navy. The 39,000-tonne tankers will support HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister-ship, HMS Prince of Wales. The ships can carry up to 19,000 cubic metres of fuel and 1,400 cubic metres of fresh water.
The first of the class, RFA Tidespring, is currently undergoing sea trials, having been fitted out at A&P Group’s Falmouth Yard.
The second of the class, RFA Tiderace, is on her way to Falmouth, while the third ship, RFA Tidesurge, has recently been named by her sponsor, Mrs Joanna Woodcock, the wife of the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock, during a ceremony in South Korea.
RFA Tideforce , the fourth tanker, is currently under construction.
As well as carrying fuel, ammunition and other stores, HNoMS Maud is also fitted with a 48-bed hospital.
The ship is named after Queen Maud of Norway, the wife of King Haakon VII. Born in 1869 at Marlborough House in London, she was the daughter of His Majesty King Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark.