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Royal Navy - Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service - n4a1 - Summary of RFAux and Decommissioning programme

ROYAL FLEET AUXILIARY SERVICE

SUMMARY AND DECOMMISSIONING PROGRAMME


The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service (RFA) is a civilian manned fleet, owned by the Ministry of Defence. Its main task is to replenish the warships of the Royal Navy at sea with fuel, food, stores and ammunition. Thus it fills a vital role that is becoming increasingly important as the current UK government has worldwide ambitions which demand the services of the Royal Navy across the globe. Other RFA tasks include amphibious support and sea transport for the Army. The RFA is managed by the Commodore RFA who is directly responsible to Commander in Chief Fleet for the administration and operation of the organisation.

The RFA employs about 2,000 (2013 figure) civilian officers and ratings, and is one of the larger employers in the UK shipping industry. Replenishment of warships at sea requires specialist knowledge and training, and RFA personnel are on terms of service that take account of both of these activities and of being directed to possible operational areas. Many RFA ships carry naval or military parties for tasks such as the operation and maintenance of helicopters.

The RFA boasts a significant number of large ships, especially in comparison with the warships it supports. The largest ship in the present Royal Navy is HMS Ocean, displacing 21,758 tons full load. In the RFA there are 10 vessels (the largest at 49,000 tons) that are larger. Though many of these ships are ageing, there is fair provision for realistic support of a Royal Naval reach.

The UK MoD believes that the RFA average cost of maintenance is estimated at 3.5 million per annum for each vessel. This includes maintenance on operational vessels, defect rectification, post design work, stock consumption and small packages of upkeep. In addition an element has been included to reflect the cost of scheduled refits, which are generally undertaken on a five yearly basis for each vessel.

DECOMMISSIONING PROGRAMME

Current plans for the decommissioning of RFA vessels are as follows: Orangeleaf 2015; Gold Rover 2016; Black Rover 2017; Fort Rosalie 2021; Fort Austin 2021; Argus 2020; Wave Ruler 2028; Wave Knight 2028.