RFA Wave Ruler (A390)

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RFA Wave Ruler
Career (UK) Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ensign
Ordered: 12 March 1997
Builder: Kvaerner Govan
BAE Systems Marine
Laid down: 22 May 1998
Launched: 09 February 2001
Commissioned: April 2003
In service: in active service
General characteristics
Displacement: 31,500 tonnes approx
Length: 196.5 metres
Beam: 28.25 metres
Draught: 9.97 metres
Propulsion: Diesel-electric; four Wartsila 12V 32E Diesels, Two GEC Alstom motors with Cegelec Variable Speed Converters; one shaft; 18t thrust electric Kamewa bow thruster and 12t thrust electric stern thruster, Both Powered by Cegelec Variable Speed Drives and Motors
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h)
Range: 10,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h).
Capacity: 16,000 cubic metres, 3,000 cubic metres of aviation fuel, 380 cubic metres of fresh water, 125 tonnes of lubricating oil, 500 cubic metres of refrigerated solids and dry stores and 8 20ft containers
Complement: 72 Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel and there is also provision for 26 Royal Navy personnel for helicopter and weapons systems operations.
Sensors and
processing systems:
Surface search: E/F band; navigation: KH 1077, I-band; IFF: Type 1017
Armament: two 30 mm cannon; four 7.62 mm machine guns; fitted for but not with two Vulcan Phalanx
Aircraft carried: 1 Merlin helicopter with full hangar facilities

RFA Wave Ruler (A390) is a Wave Knight-class fast fleet tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) of the United Kingdom.

Wave Knight and Wave Ruler are large fleet tankers designed to replace Olna and Olwen, two 36,000 ton fast fleet tankers, built at Swan Hunter and Hawthorn Leslie in the 1960s.

The ships have the capability to deliver fuel through an RAS (replenishment at sea) rig, either port, starboard or astern to other vessels. For amphibious support, the ships can also deliver fuel to pillow tanks or dracones positioned alongside. The RASCON replenishment at sea equipment is supplied by Clarke Chapman. The package of abeam and astern re-fuelling systems includes the RAS system, an ammunition handling crane specially fitted out for abeam re-fuelling, steering gear and rudder packages, thyristor-controlled winch/windlasses and double drum mooring winches.


In 2006 the Wave Ruler carried out three major cocaine seizures at sea. In September it recovered £64m of cocaine from an estimated cargo of £500m, after the crew of the fishing boat carrying the drugs set it on fire. On November 2 the ship and its accompanying Royal Marines captured 3 tonnes of cocaine worth £300m. On November 29 it seized a further 2.9 tonnes, again from a fishing boat. All the raids took place in the Caribbean.[1][2]

On August 31, 2008 the Wave Ruler was dispatched to assist relief efforts in the Caribbean for the Atlantic Hurricane Gustav.[3]

On October 3, 2008 the ship docked in Havana, Cuba. This was only the second time since the country's revolution 50 years before that a Royal Navy ship had visited the country. The five-day stay was part of an ongoing anti-drugs operation in the Caribbean.[4]

On November 8, 2008 the ship was sent to the Cayman Islands to provide humanitarian relief assistance in the wake of Hurricane Paloma.[5]

During February of 2010, Wave Ruler and the destroyer HMS York were deployed to the Falkland Islands during a period of increased tensions between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the former's plans to begin drilling for oil in the seas surrounding the islands.[6]


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