'Tide-class' the name given to four new Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) tankers to serve as part of the RN's fleet replenshment programme.
The 37,000-tonne ships will come into service from 2016 to replace the RFA's single-hulled tankers, and will maintain the Royal Navy's dedicated bulk fuel replenishment at sea capabilities. The 200-metre long tankers will also be able to carry helicopters and will support Royal Navy warships deployed around the world.
Head of the RFA, Commodore Bill Walworth, said: "I am delighted that the MARS fleet tankers will be called the Tide Class.The original Tides were the first purpose-built fleet tankers to support aircraft carriers and were highly successful and popular ships. The new Tides promise to be better still. A large number of people have worked hard to get us to this point, with the ships on contract and the first to be delivered into service in 2016."
"Tidespring, Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce, which is a new name, will be superb ships that will reflect the successful past and a confident future for the RFA service."
The ships will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering to a design provided by UK company BMT Defence Services.
In addition, UK companies will benefit from up to £150m of associated spending on key equipment, systems, design and support services, and on the customisation and trials package which will take place in the UK once the ships have been built.