UK: Royal Fleet Auxiliary Diligence Deployment Underway

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Diligence Deployment Underway

A unique Naval Support Ship sailed from Portsmouth today on one of the navy’s lengthiest deployments.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Diligence, a 10,595 tonne Forward Repair Ship, spends most of her time in the Gulf Region supporting deployed units.

Because of the nature of the work she carries out she has to be able to spend many months, and even years, deployed around the world in support of Royal Navy vessels.

She is fitted with a wide range of workshops for hull and machinery repairs, as well as facilities for supplying electricity, water, fuel, air, cranes and stores to other ships and submarines.

All of these facilities mean she is more than equipped to carry out this highly specialised role ensuring the nation’s Navy is kept in tip top condition.

Speaking of her visit to Portsmouth the ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Trevor Iles RFA, said:

“Portsmouth is our final port in the UK before setting out on a lengthy deployment. We will be using this opportunity to ensure that we are fully fuelled and stored and ready for operations.”

Diligence returned to the UK in late 2012 for a refit and equipment upgrade that culminated in trials with HMS Ambush to prove her capacity in supporting the latest class of submarines.

“As well as submarine support Diligence offers a Forward Repair Ship capability that is able to provide assistance to Naval Units in keeping them on station and at immediate notice,“

added Captain Iles.

Diligence was originally a Rig Support Vessel taken up from trade in 1982 until subsequently been converted and commissioned into the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 1984.

Press Release, July 9, 2013; Image: Royal Navy