Royal Navy - Royal Fleet Auxillary Service - Fleet Tankers - n4a2 - Armed Forces



Wave Class (Large Fleet Tankers)

RFA Wave Class Tanker - Wave Knight

Following a tendering process, contracts to build two ships were placed with VSEL (BAE Systems) on 12 March 1997.

There have been many delays in the construction of the two vessels but at last the first, Wave Knight, entered service in March 2003, two years later than originally planned.

Wave Ruler entered service early in 2004. The ships have a one spot flight deck with full hangar facilities for a Merlin helicopter. There are three Replenishment rigs and one crane.

RFA Wave Knight is able to operate in support of amphibious forces, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations and protection of vital sea areas and shipping.

WAVE CLASS Specifications
Length 196.5m
Displacement 31,500 tonnes
Max Speed 18 knots
Range 10,000nm at 15 knots
Complement 80 plus 22 RN helicopter personnel
Cargo capacity 16,000 tonnes
Helicopters 1 x Merlin helicopter
Armament 2 x Phalanx Close-in Weapon Systems
2 x BMARC 30mm guns

RFA Wave Knight (A389) 2003
RFA Wave Ruler (A390) 2004

Rover Class (Small Fleet Tankers)

These small tankers have proved most valuable over many years in supplying HM ships at sea with fuel, fresh water, limited dry cargo and refrigerated stores in all parts of the world.

There is no hangar but a helicopter platform is served by a stores lift, to enable stores to be transferred at sea. Three of the class (five originally constructed) have been sold on.

ROVER CLASS Specifications
Length 140.6m
Displacement 11,522 tonnes
Max Speed 19 knots
Range 15,000nm at 15 knots
Complement 50 (17 officers)
Cargo capacity 6,600
Armament 2 x 20mm Oerlikon
4 x 7.62mm MGs

RFA Gold Rover (A271) 1974
RFA Black Rover (A273) 1974

Photo: D M Gerrard