in Defence / Security

Serco tug paves way for arrival of QE Class carriers

Posted 2 June 2017 · Add Comment

SD Tempest, the newest tug to be added to Serco's fleet of specialist support vessels, was officially named last Wednesday at a ceremony at Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Portsmouth.



SD Tempest is the most powerful, capable and manoeuvrable tug to enter service with Serco and she has been specifically procured to support the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, which are the largest warships to ever be constructed for the Royal Navy.

SD Tempest is the 31st vessel to be built for Serco by Damen Shipyards.  She sailed into her home port of Portsmouth for the first time on 22nd February 2017.  Since then, she has since completed a series of operational trials, completed crew familiarisation and is now completely ready to support the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers.

Clare Hinton, wife of SD Tempest’s Master, Rob Hinton, ‘christened’ SD Tempest by smashing a champagne bottle across the bows of the ship in the traditional manner.  The naming ceremony was held in front of 300 specially invited guests including senior naval officers, Serco employees, crew and families on the waterfront at the base.

The project to build SD Tempest brought together the latest technology from the global shipping industry for the Royal Navy and combined the expertise of the Ministry of Defence, Serco and Damen.  The Serco project team and the vessel’s crew were involved with Damen in the design, trials and testing of Tempest and they have also trained with Admiralty pilots and members of the ship’s company to ensure that they are completely ready for the first carrier entry into Portsmouth Harbour. Crew training has also taken place on the Tempest’s sister ships used in the commercial sector in the Netherlands ensuring this experience and knowledge is shared and that the vessel and crew are fully prepared for her future role.

SD Tempest has been procured by Serco for the Royal Navy’s Defence Marine Services under an innovative amendment to the current contract which has meant that the Ministry of Defence has not had to pay any additional money for the procurement. 

Commenting on the naming ceremony, Rupert Soames, Serco’s Group Chief Executive, said: “SD Tempest is a powerful addition to Serco’s fleet in this ‘Year of the Navy’ and we look forward to seeing her shepherd HMS Queen Elizabeth into Portsmouth harbour when she arrives later this year. The innovative approach to the procurement taken by the Royal Navy and Serco has meant we can meet the future needs of the RN at no extra cost to the taxpayer.  Serco has been trusted by the Royal Navy to help put ships to sea for over 20 years and we are really proud of our track record of achieving over 99.9% of tasks successfully.”

 

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