Today, A&P Group has welcomed RFA Tiderace, the second of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s fleet of four new Tide Class tankers, to its Falmouth facility.
A&P Group has the Ministry of Defence (MOD) contract to customise and fit out all four of the RFA’s new fleet Tide class tankers and co-ordinate full military Capability Assessment Trials to prepare the ships for operational service.
RFA Tiderace will now undergo a four-month programme of military customisation, armament and upgrades to UK MOD standards before undergoing sea trials, as per the work carried out on the RFA Tidespring, earlier this year. RFA Tidespring, which is currently undergoing trials, is expected to enter service later this year and Tiderace will follow in 2018.
RFA Tiderace and her three sister vessels (Tidespring, Tidesurge and Tideforce) are part of the MOD’s Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) Tanker project and will maintain the Royal Navy’s ability to refuel at sea and support deployed amphibious, land and air forces close to the shore. They are also designed to support the new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers, along with the rest of the Royal Navy and RFA Fleet. RFA Tiderace, which weighs 39,000 tonnes, is 201 metres long and has a beam width of 29 metres, berthed at A&P’s Duchy Wharf this morning.
Working with the ship’s designer BMT Defence, multiple UK industry contractors and the MOD’s Commercially Supported Shipping team based at MOD Abbey Wood in Bristol, A&P Group made several visits to the vessels during construction to prepare 37 design specifications for military equipment upgrades including fabrication, pipework and system modifications.
A&P Group is also providing Fleet Time Support for all four tankers, which involves the provision of global engineering and maintenance expertise from the moment of build completion throughout the vessel’s journey to the UK.
David McGinley, Managing Director of A&P Group said: “This contract recognizes the calibre of the facilities, infrastructure and workforce within A&P Group and is very much testament to the expertise and relationships we have built working in the defence sector alongside the Ministry of Defence. Tiderace will now undergo the same programme of works as Tidespring and our team is delighted to welcome the vessel into A&P Falmouth.”
Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: “This year of the Royal Navy goes from strength to strength as we welcome yet another new ship into the UK’s growing fleet. It’s great to see RFA Tiderace join her sister ship RFA Tidespring in the UK today, and I would like to thank the Falmouth team for their important work.”
A&P Group also has a contract to support and maintain RFA ships at home and abroad until 2018. Under the MOD’s RFA Through Life Support Contracts A&P Group provides maintenance support to groups of MOD vessels, which include RFA Argus and the RFA Bay Class vessels Mounts Bay, Cardigan Bay and Lyme Bay.
A&P Group operates four major facilities that service the Oil and Gas, Nuclear, Offshore Wind and Marine sectors. Facilities include seven dry docks and major fabrication services. A&P Group also has a business in Australia that provides ship repair services and support to the Royal Australian Navy. All facilities combine a highly flexible workforce, high quality marine engineering skills and experience to provide ship owners and energy companies with the project management and precision skills needed to complete the most demanding projects.