The Bay class
are a class
of landing ship dock
(LSD) operated by the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary
. Together with the they provide the Royal Navy
with a significantly enhanced amphibious capability. In November 2006 the First Sea Lord
, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band
said, "These ships represent a major uplift in the Royal Navy's war fighting capability.
" All four ships of the class are presently fully operational.
The Bay-class are based on the Royal Schelde Enforcer
design, similar to Dutch
LSDs. They were at first classified as Alternative Landing Ship Logistics
(ALSL), to replace the Round Table class Landing Ship (Logistics)
. However, they have been reclassified as Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary)
(LSD(A)), as they developed into a form very much more like an LSD, with a large flight deck
aft and a docking well in the stern capable of operating a LCU
Mk 10. The large flight deck can accommodate two Merlin
helicopters. The military lift includes the capacity to load and transport up to 32 Challenger 2 tanks
, or 150 light trucks. They can carry a normal load of 356 troops, or overloaded with 500. They are designed to operate Over the horizon
using helicopters and landing craft, to get men and equipment ashore.
and Lyme Bay
were built by Swan Hunter
on the River Tyne
, whilst Mounts Bay
and Cardigan Bay
were built by BAE Systems Naval Ships
on the River Clyde
. On 13 July 2006 it was announced that, due to delays and cost over-runs, fitting out of Lyme Bay
would be transferred to BAE Systems Naval Ships
. Lyme Bay
arrived on the Clyde on July 22
was involved in the Vela Deployment
in 2006. This was the first involvement of a Bay-class vessel in a Royal Navy Amphibious Task Group operation. After a service of dedication on 17 December 2006 Largs Bay
joined Mounts Bay
to become the second Bay
class vessel active in the fleet. Cardigan Bay
was commissioned 6 March 2007 and in mid-April 2007 sailed for "Operation Orion 07", a four-month deployment to the Mediterranean. The fourth and final ship of the class, Lyme Bay
was handed over to the RFA on completion of sea trials on 2 August 2007.
(As of April 2008)
- is currently on counter-narcotics duties in the Caribbean, also ready to provide humanitarian assistance to British and foreign territories during the hurricane season.
- has recently completed "Operation Zest"; critical repairs to the harbour of Tristan da Cunha, a remote mid-Atlantic British territory.
- is on station in the Persian Gulf, supporting British and coalition units improving maritime security as part of "Operation Telic".