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Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service
British Royal Maritime Auxiliary Ensign.svg
RMAS Naval Ensign
Active 1976 - 2008
Disbanded 31 March 2008 (service replaced by Serco Denholm)
Country United Kingdom
Type Navy
Size 89 ships
over 200 ships in 1985[1]
Part of Ministry of Defence, Royal Navy

The Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service (RMAS) was a British Government agency which ran a variety of non-combat support vessels for the Royal Navy.


The RMAS merged with the former Port Auxiliary Service in 1976 to form a component of the Naval Service that is known as Marine Services. Marine Services exists to support the Royal Navy. Marine Services was put out to commercial tender by the Ministry of Defence Warship Support Agency (now absorbed into the Defence Equipment and Support organisation) and since 1996[2] tugs, lifting craft, various tenders and management of HMNB Devonport, Portsmouth and Clyde have been operated by Serco Denholm. Serco were preferred bidders[3] for the next contract, and the RMAS was disbanded on 31 March 2008.[4]


RMAS vessels carried the ship prefix RMAS and auxiliary (A) or yard (Y) pennant numbers. They can be recognised by their black hulls with white beading and buff-coloured upperworks.

Research vessels

Cablelayer / Research vessel

  • RMAS Newton (A367)

Acoustic research / Diving support vessel

Colonel Templer passing Greenock on the Firth of Clyde.

Ammunition transport

  • RMAS Kinterbury (A378)

RMAS Arrochar

Lifting ships


Salmoor passing Gourock on the Firth of Clyde.


  • RMAS Moorhen (Y32)
  • RMAS Moorfowl (Y33)
  • RMAS Cameron (A72)

Torpedo retrievers


  • RMAS Tornado (A140)
  • RMAS Torch (A141)
  • RMAS Tormentor (A142)
  • RMAS Toreador (A143)


  • RMAS Torrent (A127)


Impulse-class submarine berthing tugs (2)

  • RMAS Impulse (A344)
  • RMAS Impetus (A335)

Adept-class tractor tug (9)


Moorings / Range tender

  • RMAS Warden (A368)

Fast Fleet tender/VIP carrier


Adamant at the launch of HMS Daring at BAE Systems Naval Ships, Scotstoun February 1, 2006

  • RMAS Adamant (A232)

79 ft (24.1 m) Fleet Tenders

Aberdovey Class (14)
  • RMAS Aberdovey (Y10)
  • RMAS Abinger (Y11)
  • RMAS Alness (Y12)
  • RMAS Alnmouth (Y13)
  • RMAS Appleby (A383)
  • RMAS Ashcott (Y16)
  • RMAS Beaulieu (A99)
  • RMAS Beddgelert (A100)
  • RMAS Bembridge (A101)
  • RMAS Bibury (A103)
  • RMAS Blakeney (A104)
  • RMAS Brodick (A105)
  • RMAS Cartmel (A350)
  • RMAS Cawsand (A351)
Clovelly Class (32)
Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service
RMAS Fleet Tender Dornoch.jpg
RMAS Dornoch at Lowestoft, England, in 2004
Class overview
Name: Clovelly Class Fleet Tender
Builders: Plimbott (4), Holmes (3)
Lewis (4), Dunston (16)
Cook (4)
Operators: Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service, Royal Navy
Built: 1971-1981
In commission: 1971-2008
Completed: 31
Retired: 31
General characteristics
Type: Fleet Tender
Displacement: 175 long tons (178 t) loaded
140 long tons (140 t) light
Length: 79 ft (24 m)
Beam: 21 ft (6.4 m)
Height: 36 ft (11 m) mast up
22 ft (6.7 m) mast down
Draught: 7.25 ft (2.21 m) loaded
6.2 ft (1.9 m) light
Depth of hold: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Speed: 10.5 knots
Range: 1,700 nm @ 8 knots
Troops: 120
Crew: 7
Notes: [5]
  • RMAS Clovelly (A389)
  • RMAS Criccieth (A391)
  • RMAS Cricklade (A381)
  • RMAS Cromarty (A488)
  • RMAS Denmead (A363)
  • RMAS Dornoch (A490)
  • RMAS Dunster (A393)
  • RMAS Elkstone (A353)
  • RMAS Elsing (A277)
  • RMAS Epworth (A355)
  • RMAS Ettrick (A274)
  • RMAS Felsted (A348)
  • RMAS Fintry (A394)
  • RMAS Fotherby (A341)
  • RMAS Froxfield (A354)
  • RMAS Fulbeck (A365)
  • RMAS Glencoe (A392)
  • RMAS Grasmere (A402)
  • RMAS Hambledon (A1769)
  • RMAS Harlech (A1768)

Harlech at Exeter, England, in 2004

  • RMAS Headcorn (A1766)
  • RMAS Hever (A1767)
  • RMAS Holmwood (A1772)
  • RMAS Horning (A1773)
  • RMAS Lamlash (A208)

Lamlash passing HMS Warrior at Portsmouth April 30, 2000

  • RMAS Lechlade (A211)
  • RMAS Llandovery (A207)
  • RMAS Lydford (A251/A510)
  • RMAS Meon (A87)
  • RMAS Milford (A91)
  • RMAS Melton (A83)
  • RMAS Menai (A84)
Dive Tenders (5)

Ilchester at Wick, Scotland, in 2004, on her way from Rosyth to Holyhead during the closure of the Caledonian Canal

  • RMAS Ilchester (A308)
  • RMAS Instow (A309)
  • RMAS Invergordon (A311)
  • RMAS Ironbridge (A310)
  • RMAS Ixworth (A318)
Loyal Class (9)

Loyal Watcher off the south coast of England in 2000

  • RMAS Loyal Chancellor (A1770)
  • RMAS Loyal Factor (A382)
  • RMAS Loyal Helper (A157)
  • RMAS Loyal Mediator (A161)
  • RMAS Loyal Moderator (A220)
  • RMAS Loyal Proctor (A1771)
  • RMAS Loyal Supporter (A158)
  • RMAS Loyal Volunteer (A160)
  • RMAS Loyal Watcher (A159)
Manly Class (4)

Milbrook at Almerimar, Spain, in 2000

  • RMAS Manly (A92)
  • RMAS Mentor (A94)
  • RMAS Messina (A107)
  • RMAS Milbrook (A97)

See also

Notes and references

  1. Moore, John, Captain, RN (1985). Jane's Fighting Ships 1984-85. London: Jane's Publishing Co.. pp. 623–631. 
  2. Marine Services Planning Agreement[dead link]
  3. "£1 billion MoD Marine Services contract". Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  4. Queen’s Thanks as Last Post Sounds for Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service
  5. Wall, B.C. (1988). RMAS Fulbeck Stability Book. Lloyd's Register of Shipping. 

Further reading

External links

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