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Falmouth: the UK’s fourth naval base

The A&P Group has been awarded a major MoD contract, worth an initial £15 million, to customise and support four new replenishment tankers for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The Tide class tankers are currently under construction in South Korea, with the first due to enter service in 2016.

A&P Falmouth will complete their fit-out and also provide through-life support to all four ships in service for a minimum of three years. The work will include equipping the basic hulls with communications systems and ballistic protection, and preparation work for the rapid fit of self-defence weapons.

RFA Tidespring is due to arrive in the UK in December 2015, to be followed by the others – RFA Tiderace, RFA Tidesurge and RFA Tideforce – at six-monthly intervals. They will replace the remaining Leaf and Rover class tankers.

The 37,000-tonnes ships are the first stage of the MoD’s Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) project to update the RFA’s current fleet of support ships that provide fuel and stores to the RN anywhere in the world. A&P already has a contract to support and maintain RFA ships, RFA Argus and the RFA Bay class vessels, at home and abroad until 2018. GD

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