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RFA Olna (A123)

RFA Olna (A123) refueling USS Forrestal (CV-59) and destroyer 1978
RFA Olna conducting replenishment at sea (RAS) with USS Forrestal (CV-59) and a destroyer, 1978
RFA Ensign
Name: RFA Olna
Builder: Hawthorn Leslie and Company
Yard number: 756
Laid down: 2 July 1964
Launched: 28 July 1965 by Barbara Redman
Commissioned: 1 April 1966
Decommissioned: 24 September 2000
Identification:IMO number6519467
Honours and
Falkland Islands 1982. Kuwait 1991.
  • Renamed Kos in May 2001.
  • Arrived Alang for demolition 20 June 2001.
Badge: Olna Crest.jpg
General characteristics
Class and type: Ol class tanker
Displacement: 36,027 long tons (36,605 t) full load
Length: 648 ft (198 m)
Beam: 84 ft 2 in (25.65 m)
Draught: 34 ft (10 m)
  • Pametrada steam turbines 26,500 hp (19,761 kW), double reduction gearbox to single screw
  • Babcock & Wilcox selectable superheat boilers
  • Bow thrust propeller
  • 3825 tons FFO, consumption 160 TPD at max power
Speed: 21 knots (24 mph; 39 km/h)
Range: 10,000 nmi (19,000 km) at 16 kn (18 mph; 30 km/h)
  • 88 RFA
  • 40 RN
  • 2× 20 mm guns
  • Chaff launchers
Aircraft carried:Westland Wessex or Westland Sea King helicopters

RFA Olna (A123) was the third and final of the three Ol-class "fast fleet tanker" of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Olna saw service in the Falklands War.


Her design was a development of the Tide-class ships of the late 1950s. She was commissioned in 1966 and served in the RFA for 34 years. Olna was the third ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary to bear the name.

Operational history

Olna entered service as the UK was pulling back from its final large imperial garrisons. Much of the ship's early life was spent supporting routine deployments around the world.


In Operation Magister, Olna was part of the fleet covering the final British military withdrawal from Aden, along with nine other RFAs.[1]

Falklands War

In 1982 Olna left for the South Atlantic as part of the second wave of ships to leave the UK during the Falklands War. That group was centred on the destroyer HMS Bristol. Once Olna reached theatre, her time was primarily spent fuelling the carrier battle group.[1]

Olna replenishing frigates as part of the Bristol Group en route to the Falklands War in 1982


In 1990, another wartime deployment beckoned. As forces built up in the Persian Gulf, Olna joined the British task force on station. Olna arrived in August 1990, shortly after Iraq invaded Kuwait, and apart from a short maintenance period in Singapore was on station for the whole duration of the conflict. Olna operated further north than any other tanker as the US Navy was wary of mines after two ships had been severely damaged.

At the end of the 1990s, retirement was in sight. 1999 and 2000 were spent in mothballs at Gibraltar until the outbreak of a crisis in Sierra Leone called for Olna to make one last deployment. The ship did not proceed to Sierra Leone, but instead relieved other RFA vessels of participation in a major exercise off Scotland. Following this exercise, the ship returned to reserve and decommissioned soon thereafter.


In March 2001, Olna was sold to a Turkish shipbreaking firm, but owing to the high quantity of asbestos aboard she was diverted to Greece before finally going to Indian breakers.


  1. ^ a b "RFA Olna(3)". Historical RFA. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

External links