Royal Navy – Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Other Ships

Royal Navy Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Other Ships

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Aviation Training and Primary Care Hospital

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Argus A-135 (1988) LOA 574′ / 175 m TDISP 28,000 tons. Originally a container ship, then under contract to the Ministry of Defence from 1982, originally as MV Contender Bezant, with service in the Falklands War.

Fleet Week New York 2012
RFA Argus during Fleet Week New York City, 2012 US Navy Official 587698 CPO Elisandro T. Diaz

RFA Argus Plymouth 2016

Fleet Replenishment

Fort Rosalie (originally Fort George) Class Fleet Replenishment LOA 603′ / 183.8 m TDISP 23,400 tons (2 built 1978, both still active)RFA Fort Rosalie class falmouth 2001RFA Fort Austin A-386 (1979) Laid up at Birkenhead Docks, 2018RFA Fort Austin Birkenhead 2019RFA Fort Austin Portland 2017

Fleet Tankers

Tide Class LOA 659′ / 200.9 m TDISP 3,900 tons (4 active, service since 2017) Korean built.Tide Class tanker Devonport 2020

Rover Class small fleet tankers LOA 461′ / 140.5 m TDISP 11,500 tons (5 built, 2 transferred to other navies, 3 RFA units retired)

RFA Black Rover A-273 (1974-2015)RFA Black Rover Birkenhead 2016

Hydrographic Survey

Echo class LOA 297′ / 90.5 m TDISP  3,700 tons (2 active, service since 2003)

HMS Enterprise survey 1024px-RIMG0257
HMS Enterprise H-88 survey vessel at Dartmouth, 2008. Credit: Sounddezign, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Echo class survey Devonport 2015

HMS Scott H-131 (1997) LOA 430′ / 131.1 m TDISP 13,500 tons

HMS Scott H-131 at anchor near Port Lockroy, Antarctica, 2011. Credit: Photo: POA(Phot) Ray Jones/MOD, OGL v1.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

HMS Scott H-131 Devonport 2017

Antarctic Patrol Ship

HMS Protector A-173 (2013) LOA 292′ / 89 m TDISP 5,000 tons HMS Protector Devonport 2015

Forward Repair Ship

RFA Diligence A-132 (1984-2016) LOA 367′ / 111.9 m TDISP 10,600 tons. Laid up first at Birkenhead Docks then Portsmouth. Had been a civilian ship requisitioned by the UK Government, based on a oil rig support vessel

USS Gettysburg action
RFA Diligence training with USS Gettysburg Sep. 2011 US Navy Official 464087 PO3 Betsy Knapper

RFA Diligence Birkenhead 2016

Depot, Repair and Maintenance Ships

HMS Rame Head A-134 Beachy Head Class LOA 442′ / 134.7 m TDISP 8,500 tons. The last of 21 ships, built in Canada as  a modification of the Fort merchant ship design (called “Park” ships if they served the Canadian Merchant Marine, Fort if they served the British) during and immediately after the Second World War. After a long career the ship was laid up in Fareham Creek near Portsmouth, and then scrapped at Galloo shipbreakers, near Ghent, Belgium mid-2009. This was the last known Fort or Park ship in existence. The US Liberty ship design shares the same origin.

HMS Rame Head 1962 IWM FL image
HMS Rame Head ca. 1962 © IWM FL 17891.

HMS Rame Head Portsmouth 1999HMS Rame Head Portsmouth 2001HMS Rame Head Portsmouth 2007HMS Rame Head scrap Ghent 2009

Cable Layers

HMS Bullfrog (1944-1946) LOA 252′ / 76.8 m TDISP 1540. Swan Hunter built boom defence / cable layer, later served as CS Retriever then transferred to South Africa as Cable Restorer. Given to the Simon’s Town Maritime Museum, on display 1993-2018. Broken up late 2020-2022.HMS Bullfrog Simon's Town museum 2020HMS Bullfrog Simon's Town museum 2021 scrap

Troop Transport / Hospital Ship (replica)

Olympic Class ocean liner (White Star Line) LOA 882′ / 268.8 m TDISP 52,000 tons. Yes, we know that this is a full-size replica of the RMS Titanic, building in a land-locked location in Daying County, China, for resort goers to stay in. But we are choosing to show it as illustrative of two ships that had naval careers during the First World War: HMT Olympic (1911), the first sister-ship to the doomed Titanic, which served as a troop transport, and the third sister, HMHS Britannic (1914), which only ever served as a hospital ship before being sunk in the Mediterranean by a  mine. Olympic could carry 6,000 soldiers at a transit, and was a frequent visitor to Halifax, Nova Scotia, carrying Canadian Expeditionary Force soldiers throughout the War (and then bringing them home). She was armed eventually with 6″ guns, Port and Starboard on her forward well deck, and also on her stern.

Olympic with Returned Soldiers, 1919 by Arthur Lismer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Original source: Beaverbrook Collection of War Art, Canadian War Museum 19710261-0343

Titanic replica Daying Co. China 2021-03Titanic replica Daying Co. China 2018-04Titanic replica Daying Co. China 2017-11Titanic replica Daying Co. China 2016-07

HMHS Britannic (colourized) 1915-1916. Credit: Soerfm, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

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