Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Tiderace has reached UK waters after getting underway almost two months ago from Okpo, South Korea, where she was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME).
The second of four Tide-class ships started her voyage on August 3 and arrived in Falmouth in the morning of September 25. Now that she is in the UK, the 39,000-tonne RFA Tiderace will begin a program of customization which will see her receive armor, self-defense weaponry and communications systems.
RFA Tiderace is expected to undergo around four months of customization before beginning a round of final sea trials before entering service next year. Meanwhile, lead ship in the class RFA Tidespring is expected to finish final sea trials in the coming weeks and enter service before the end of this year.
The 39,000-tonne Tide-class ships can carry up to 19,000 cubic meters of fuel and 1,400 cubic meters of fresh water in support of Royal Navy operations all over the world. They have been designed to support the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, the first of which, HMS Queen Elizabeth, arrived in Portsmouth last month.
The Tide Class has a flight deck able to accommodate the large Chinook helicopter and offer significant improvements over previous RFA tankers such as double hulls and greater environmental protection measures.