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Fort Rosalie-class replenishment ship
RFA Fort Rosalie
RFA Fort Rosalie at HMNB Plymouth Navy Days
Class overview
Builders: Scott Lithgow
Operators: Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Built: 1973–1979
In service: 1978-present
In commission: 1978–
Completed: 2
Active: 2
General characteristics
Class & type: Fort Class
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
Armament: 2 × 20 mm Oerlikon/BMARC KAA guns in GAM-B01 mounts
4 × 7.62 mm L7 GPMGs
Aircraft carried: Up to 4 x Westland Sea King

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.


They have the capacity to store 3,500 long ton 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.


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 Camell 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;[1] they will ultimately be replaced by the Fleet Solid Support element of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability programme.[citation needed]


Name Pennant Builder Commissioned Fate
Fort Rosalie
(ex-Fort Grange)
A387 Scott Lithgow, Greenock. 6 April 1978 Active as of 2013
Fort Austin A386 Scott Lithgow, Greenock. 11 May 1979 Active as of 2013


  • Captain John E. Moore RN (1979). Warships of the Royal Navy. Jane's Publishing. ISBN 0-531-03730-4. 
  • Beaver, Paul (1996). Britain's Modern Royal Navy. Patrick Stephens Limited. ISBN 1-85260-442-5. 

See also

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