UK firm delivers first unit in new submarine rescue vehicle series

Photo: FET

UK-based Forum Energy Technologies (FET) has completed manufacturing a highly advanced submarine rescue vehicle (SRV) for an undisclosed customer.

The LR-classed SRV is capable of rescuing up to 17 people at a time and operate at depths of up to 600 metres.
The vessel has increased power and an advanced auxiliary thruster control system that allows for speeds of up to four knots, enabling it to operate in high currents. It is also able to attach to submarines at highly precarious angles, above 40 degrees.

The SRV is equipped with an array of sensors and sonars for locating distressed submarines. These include a doppler velocity log, fibre optic gyroscope, sonar and depth sensing.

All sensors and sonar systems are fully embedded into FET’s software to deliver advanced functionality, including auto depth, auto heading, and autopilot. The latter function utilises an electric propulsor pivot mechanism and is unique to the company’s LR-classed SRV.

The SRV is divided into two sections: a command module for pilots and a rescue chamber for the submarine crew. The rescue chamber can be pressurised as necessary to ensure rescued crew are decompressed to prevent decompression sickness.

Once at surface, the vessel latches to a decompression chamber where crew are safely transferred.

The first of the latest LR-classed SRV has been delivered and will begin undergoing final sea trials with the client during the first quarter of 2021.

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