Fort Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

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SKB
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Fort Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by SKB »

Image
^ RFA Fort Rosalie (A385)

Introduction
The Fort Rosalie or Fort class is a class of fleet replenishment vessel of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary. These ships are designed to replenish Royal Navy taskgroups with all kinds of armaments and victualling stores while under way; unlike the bigger Fort Victoria class they supply dry stores but not fuel. RFA Fort Rosalie was originally known as Fort Grange, but was renamed in 2000 to avoid confusion with the new Fort Victoria class replenishment oiler RFA Fort George.


Design
They have the capacity to store 3,500 tons of stores, including refrigerated items, in four holds. They are capable of replenishment at sea (RAS), using three 10-ton and three 5-ton cranes and vertical replenishment (VERTREP). For the latter role there are generous flight facilities; a single spot flight deck, an emergency landing platform atop the hangar and a complement of up to four (but usually one) Fleet Air Arm Westland Sea King helicopters and the requisite maintenance facilities. As such, they are often used for aviation training.


History
Two ships were ordered in 1971, with the first entering service in 1978. Both ships saw service in the Falklands War, the then Fort Grange being shadowed by Argentine Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft while still 1,000 nm from the combat area and Fort Austin being attacked while sitting in San Carlos Water. Fort Austin supported the British intervention in Sierra Leone in 2000.

Fort Austin was mothballed in 2009 but was reactivated following the 2010 SDSR at the expense of RFA Fort George. Both Fort Rosalie and Fort Austin have had major refits at Cammell Laird to enable another decade of service. In 2011 it was announced that the service lives of Fort Austin and Fort Rosalie would be extended by another two years to 2023 and 2024 respectively. They will ultimately be replaced by the Solid Support Ships.


Ships In Class

1. RFA Fort Rosalie (A385) Commissioned 6th April 1978 (as RFA Fort George).
2. RFA Fort Austin (A386) Commissioned 11th May 1979.


Specification

Class and type: Fort Class (I)
Displacement: 18,029 tons (gross) / 23,890 tons (full load)
Length: 185.1 m (607 ft 3 in)
Beam: 24 m (78 ft 9 in)
Draught: 9 m (29 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: Sulzer 8-cylinder RND90 22,300 shp, 1 shaft
Speed: 22 knots (40.7 km/h)
Range: 10,000 nmi (19,000 km) at 20 kn (37 km/h)
Complement: 127 RFA, 45 RN, 36 STO(N) civilians
Sensors and processing systems: Kelvin Hughes Ltd SharpEye navigation radar
Armament:
2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
2 × 20 mm Oerlikon/BMARC KAA guns in GAM-B01 mounts
4 × 7.62 mm L7 GPMGs
Aircraft carried: Up to 4 × Westland Sea King

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SKB
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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by SKB »

Fort Rosalie on the Clyde


Fort Austin under the Forth bridges

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GibMariner
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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by GibMariner »

RFA Fort Rosalie visiting Cork, Ireland:

Large Royal Navy Supplier Ship Sails in for Volvo Cork Week
One of the largest UK naval vessels is at time of writing arriving into Cork Harbour this morning to coincide with Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Volvo Week, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The visit of RFA Fort Rosalie is also in the same year of the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Irish Naval Service in 1946.

RFA Fort Rosalie (A385) is one of a pair of Fort Class Solid Support Tanker replenishment vessels of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She along with RFA Fort Austin and the overall RFA fleet also supply food, stores and ammunition to the Royal Navy fleet, whilst underway.

Also this morning, Naval Service CPV L.É. Orla, formerly HMS Swift of the Royal Navy Hong Kong Maritime Squadron met the 185m long auxiliary vessel off the entrance to Cork Harbour.

The RFA Fort Rosalie drawing 8m draft, had sailed from the French Naval Base at Brest, is to berth at Cobh’s deepwater quay.
http://afloat.ie/port-news/naval-visits ... volvo-week

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by Rambo »

Fort Rosalie left Cammell Laird today after refit. https://www.flickr.com/photos/das_boot_160/32335261233/
Note the x2 Phalanx which are not fitted on this class very often?

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by shark bait »

RFA's always have them fitted if they're heading east of Suez. Presumably she's heading out there to replace fort Victoria which has been out there for the past year.

The placement looks strange, it's usually one forward and one aft, but they must have wanted to preserve the flight deck on the hangar roof. I've never seen that in use, has anyone else?
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RichardIC
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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by RichardIC »

That's where they've been placed previously. They are in that position on the second video above.

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by Defiance »

Broadly haven't the RN tended away from fore/aft placement?

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shark bait
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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by shark bait »

I have no idea. Tide class is shown fore & aft, T26 is shown port & starboard.
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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by RichardIC »

I think it's always been a matter of the most convenient location - especially on ships not designed for them.

The Forts use what used to be the former SCOT position. In an admission of age and sadness I vaguely remember that position being used for a manual twin Oerlikon mounting post-Falklands.

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

shark bait wrote:Tide class is shown fore & aft, T26 is shown port & starboard.
VLS fitted? If yes, 360 AA cover, and the latter option for the Phalanx B version's combined missile and surface defence capability
No VLS? The former option (and the supply ships need their sides clear, anyway, for their primary function)

BTW, how long did the refit take? It is a real shoestring combo (with the recent tanker retirerement) if we run a globally deployable navy with two tankers and one supply ship (now back to two)
- or am I forgetting something in my count?
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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by Rambo »

shark bait wrote:RFA's always have them fitted if they're heading east of Suez. Presumably she's heading out there to replace fort Victoria which has been out there for the past year.

The placement looks strange, it's usually one forward and one aft, but they must have wanted to preserve the flight deck on the hangar roof. I've never seen that in use, has anyone else?
Yes i assume she is going to the Gulf. I've just rarely seen any photographs of her and Austin with Phalanx fitted. and both never have when i've observed them in and out of the Mersey for refit / lay up. So was surprised to see them fitted at CL yard.

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by shark bait »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:and the supply ships need their sides clear, anyway, for their primary function
great point.
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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by marktigger »

yes some of the last of the Falklands task force

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by Pongoglo »

It also looks like shes got 2 x 30mm fitted in place of the two 20mm GAM-BO1's which are shown in the second video above, most certainly Mk 44 mini gun too, so the standard RFA self defence fit ?

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by marktigger »

looking at the camell laird pics the number of cranes has been reduced

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Pongoglo wrote:in place of the two 20mm GAM-BO1's which are shown in the second video above
Were those the last of them then?
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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by marktigger »

why was grange renamed? I did hear it was to avoid confusion with RFA fort george with it scrapped shouldn't rosalie revert to her original name

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by Pongoglo »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Pongoglo wrote:in place of the two 20mm GAM-BO1's which are shown in the second video above
Were those the last of them then?
Don't think so, I think Albion and Bulwark still have them atop the bridge and certainly the Batch 1 Rivers too. Ocean has swopped hers for 30mm but I think at least one of the Bays and Fort Victoria still has them as well . I like the GAM0-BO1's, a lot of fire power for a very low footprint and you can bolt them on pretty much anything in an emergency, the Point class perhaps ? Hope we haven't scrapped em and have some in store but knowing the MOD - probably not !
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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by marktigger »

which Fort (I) is meant to be in comission?

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by Gabriele »

Both Fort Rosalie and Fort Austin are in commission, but Fort Austin has had all cranes dismantled and appears to be laid up in Birkenhead. There are rumors that it might be disposed off, despite having been reactivated only after the SDSR 2010 with an intended OSD in the early 2020.
If it ends up removed from service, it'll be another stealth cut after Diligence before her.
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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:It is a real shoestring combo (with the recent tanker retirerement) if we run a globally deployable navy with two tankers and one supply ship (now back to two... SEEMINGLY NOT)
- but there is the improved base in Bahrain
- still shoestring (except in the Gulf and immediate vicinity; another base for the Carriers in the making)
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by RichardIC »

The improved base in Bahrain is a small office block with ancillary accommodation and a tuck shop. It can't compare to an RFA.

I really hate doing this but I've submitted an FOI tonight about the future of Fort Austin. That's two in the last six months. They'll blacklist me for being vexatious soon.

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

RichardIC wrote:It can't compare to an RFA.
... there is a pier, too, to load from

A bit like in Singapore (where the manning is very thin, but fuel and ordnance can be loaded in a dedicated and protected facility)
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by RichardIC »

I'd say this qualifies as archetypally non-committall:

http://qnadailyreport.blob.core.windows ... -03-10.pdf

RFA Fort Austin
Mrs Flick Drummond: [66509]
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) current deployment and (b) planned out-of-service date is for RFA Fort Austin.
Harriett Baldwin:
Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) FORT AUSTIN is not currently deployed and is alongside in the Liverpool area. On current plans, she will retire from service in 2024.
It is standard practice for Royal Navy and RFA ships to cycle through different readiness states in response to our operational needs. The RFA remains integral to the Royal Navy's deployments and global presence.

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Re: Fort Rosalie Class Replenishment Ship (RFA)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

RichardIC wrote:On current plans, she will retire from service in 2024.
That lends credence to the (first) SSS being ordered in 2020 for IOC in 2024?

Further, that is unlikely to happen with a design from scratch so I bet several conceptual designs are in the works now... but when will the RFP be released (and is the RFI, as a market survey, step going to be bypassed by means of informal two-way consultations)?
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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