Essex-based SEA-KIT International, a leading provider of low-carbon uncrewed surface vessel (USV) solutions in active operation across the globe, has revealed a new USV design that focuses on hydrography and environmental data collection.
The SEA-KIT H-class USV, with its retractable gondola and dual sensor deployment options, is a highly configurable design based on a wealth of operational data and feedback collected from the company’s established X-class USVs. Several of these 12m vessels are currently operational in the Indian Ocean, North Sea, Red Sea and the Pacific.
The H-class features a composite hull for higher transit speeds, giving it greater range and endurance, as well as active stabilisers to minimise roll. The new design has 12m and 15m variants, with the 12m version transportable in a standard shipping container for rapid, low-cost deployment. Both variants can be davit launched.
Ben Simpson, SEA-KIT CEO, said: “Although many of the H-class USV’s features directly benefit hydrographic survey missions, this is a design that can perform many different tasks due to its large gondola and ability to dip cages and tow sensors. The fuel-saving, speed and endurance benefits of the composite hull add to the value of these USVs as low-carbon, cost-efficient solutions for a wide range of maritime operations. This design is the next step towards our goal of zero emission vessels.”
The H-class USV can accommodate a range of sensors as well as deploy a tow cage, SVP, MAPR, CTD and side scan sonar for deep-water and nearshore bathymetric and hydrographic survey missions. The vessel includes a Multibeam Echo Sounder (MBES), station holding and winch-deployed sensor payloads for versatile ocean survey capability.
SEA-KIT’s H-class USV is designed to MCA Category 0 for extended, over-the-horizon capability and will hold Unmanned Marine Systems (UMS) certification from Lloyd’s Register as well as Lloyd’s Register approval for design and hull construction.
The SEA-KIT team will officially launch the new design at Seawork, Europe’s largest commercial marine exhibition, which takes place in Southampton, UK, later this month (21-23 June 2022).