Proudly flying the flag of St Piran from her port yardarm RFA Tiderace, the latest Tide Class tanker arrived in the port on Monday after a lengthy voyage from her South Korean shipbuilders.

With Falmouth’s senior pilot Captain Dave Pickston onboard the Tiderace came in to the harbour assisted by the tugs Ankorva, St Piran and Percuil.

On Duchy wharf to greet the ship was A&P Falmouth managing director Gerald Pitts, the man who has successfully negotiated many multi-million pound ship repair contracts with the MOD. Gerald is currently leading an A&P Group bid team that will be tendering for part of a 10 year, £900 million pound Ministry of Defence (MOD) contract to refit and repair ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

RFA Tiderace is expected to undergo around four months of customisation before beginning a round of final sea trials after which she will enter service next year. Meanwhile, RFA Tidespring is expected to finish final sea trials in the coming weeks and join the RFA flotilla at the end of this year.

The customisation work in Falmouth, which will install armour, self-defence weaponry and communications systems, will help to support 300 local jobs. The UK work content in the Tide Class programme as a whole, which is being delivered well within budget by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), is worth around £150 million, sustaining further jobs at 27 UK-based companies.

David McGinley, Managing Director of A&P Group said: “This contract recognises the calibre of the facilities, infrastructure and workforce within A&P Group and is very much testament to the expertise and relationships we have built working in the defence sector alongside the Ministry of Defence. Tiderace will now undergo the same programme of works as Tidespring and our team is delighted to welcome the vessel into A&P Falmouth.”

Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: “This year of the Royal Navy goes from strength to strength as we welcome yet another new ship into the UK’s growing fleet. It’s great to see RFA Tiderace join her sister ship RFA Tidespring in the UK, and I would like to thank the Falmouth team for their important work."

Sir Simon Bollom, Chief of Materiel (Ships) at Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD’s procurement organisation, said: “Like her sister ship, RFA Tiderace will perform a crucial role in supporting the Royal Navy’s global mission in defence of the UK and her interests.

“I am proud to welcome Tiderace and her crew to Falmouth as part of the continued successful delivery of the Tide Class programme and look forward to welcoming the final two ships in the class over the coming months.”