Development underway on new eight-metre unmanned fireboat

Photo: Zycraft USV

Singapore-based unmanned systems specialist Zycraft USV has completed the second phase of an engineering development project aimed at introducing a new type of unmanned firefighting vessel.

Zycraft said that this follows completion of the first phase that started in 2019, when a firefighting system was fitted on the company’s 17-metre unmanned surface vehicle (USV) for tests and evaluation. During the first phase, Zycraft proved its remote firefighting software algorithm and control of the USV to verify proper protocols needed for effective unmanned firefighting.

Using a remote controlled fire monitor installed at the bow, the USV successfully navigated its way to a simulated boat on fire at sea and executed unmanned firefighting manoeuvres around the target boat. Using an electrically driven pump with a 60 m³/hour flowrate, a shooting distance of 35 metres was achieved.

Zycraft said that its patented fire-fighting software enable the USV to autonomously carry out surveillance around the simulated boat fire whilst synchronising the fire monitor’s water jet landing point with the USV’s electro-optic system.

An operator at the command centre focused on the fire fighting with the electro-optic system providing a clear picture of the prevailing situation. This allowed the shore control centre to decide where and when to commence firefighting operations.

The new eight-metre unmanned fireboat will have twin remote controlled fire monitors each capable of a 70-metre reach, with one monitor installed on a telescopic mast for greater reach. An engine-driven fire pump provides a flow of 5,600 litres per minute at 150 psi.

The fireboat will be powered by a single diesel engine and waterjet to give the vessel a maximum speed of 35 knots. A drop down thruster will provide the heading precision needed during firefighting.

James Soon, General Manager of Zycraft, said that details are being finalised for construction of the first vessel.

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