Début de construction pour une nouvelle génération de bâtiments de soutien ravitailleurs de la flotte britannique | Newsletter navale | Scoop.it

The exisiting Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships have been a common site in Falmouth over recent years, with the town adopting the RFA Argus, and now construction work has started on the next generation of the ships at the DSME yard in Okpo-dong, near the south-eastern tip of South Korea.

Construction of RFA Tidespring began on June 24 with the head of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Commodore Rob Dorey, performing the honour of getting steel cutting under way. The tanker will be assembled from ready made sections in a large dry-dock over the coming winter.

After trials off Korea, the tanker, which is being built to a British design as part of a project to replace the RFA’s older tankers, will be brought to the UK to have military equipment and communications systems installed ahead of entering service in 2016.

By the end of the decade, Tidespring and her three sisters – Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce – will be the mainstay of operations by Royal Navy ships and task groups around the globe, in particular the carrier battle groups formed around HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales.

The last tanker to bear the Tidespring name served the Royal Fleet Auxiliary for 30 years from 1962 until 1992 and saw action in the Aden Withdrawal (1967-68) and Monrovia (1990).

Most notably in 1982, however, she found herself in harm’s way supporting a task force sent to liberate the Falklands.

In addition to providing fuel for Royal Navy vessels, the tanker was home to a company of Royal Marines commandos during the recapture of South Georgia.

Those actions helped the ship earn the Tidespring name its first battle honour.