Forum Energy Technologies (FET) has successfully completed sea trials for its highly advanced submarine rescue vehicle (SRV) ahead of its deployment for an Asia Pacific-based navy.
The sea trials tested the SRV’s capabilities to perform a variety of demanding operations, including deep dives, navigation, and mating with a target. In country commissioning and testing took two months to complete with nine FET personnel assisting throughout the trial.
Working closely with the navy and Lloyd’s Register (LR), the sea trials followed an extensive commissioning period and factory acceptance test, which took place at FET’s test tank in Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire, UK. LR offered third party verification and supervised every part of the sea trials.
The SRV is divided into two sections, a command module for pilots and a rescue chamber for the rescue chamber operator and people being rescued. Built to meet the most up-to-date industry standards, it is capable of rescuing up to 17 people at a time and operate at depths of up to 600m.
The new model has increased power and an advanced auxiliary thruster control system that allows for speeds approaching four knots, enabling it to operate in high currents. The vehicle is able to attach to submarines at highly precarious angles that are above 40 degrees.
This world-class SRV joins a small group of rescue systems in use around the globe and is designed to extract submariners from distress situations using the most cutting-edge technologies. It has been designed with safety in mind, boasting easily removable panels to assist with maintenance operations and ensure the safety of people.
The state-of-the-art also has some of the most advanced sensors and sonars to locate a distressed submarine as quickly as possible, including a doppler velocity log, fiber optic gyroscope, sonar, and depth sensing. All sensors and sonar systems are fully embedded into FET’s software to deliver advanced functionality, including automatic depth, heading and piloting capabilities.
Kevin Taylor, FET’s Vice President – Subsea Vehicles, commented: “The SRV’s successful sea trials marks another accomplishment for the company as we continue to bring the latest technology to the industry. The vehicle is highly reliable and its capabilities make it ideally suited to a wide range of operations in the defence market and the Lloyd’s Register stamp of approval will assure clients that the SRV performs to the highest possible standards.
“This is a huge achievement for the business and a testament to our highly experienced engineering, QHSE, purchasing, planning and production teams. I would like to commend my colleagues for persevering in the face of challenges brought on by the Covid pandemic and the logistical complications of managing an international project at this difficult time.”
The scope of the contract also included FET’s experts providing training for navy pilots as part of a comprehensive programme, which encompassed theoretical training, maintenance, and practical aspects such as diving and recovery.