UK-based Forum Energy Technologies has disclosed the completion of a new free-swimming submarine rescue vehicle (SRV) for an Indo-Pacific navy.
The new vehicle, designated LR11, is being supplied to Submarine Manufacturing & Products (SMP) as part of a larger submarine rescue equipment package. While neither Forum nor SMP have identified the navy in question, Janes understands that the end customer is the People’s Army of Vietnam Navy.
SMP was awarded a contract in 2018 to supply a complete submarine rescue equipment solution – including a transfer under pressure (TUP) system, an SRV, work-class remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), atmospheric diving suits, and a submarine emergency ventilation and decompression system (SEVDS) – for installation on a new purpose-built submarine rescue ship. Images released by the company show the vessel concerned to be Yet Kieu , a Damen 9316 multipurpose submarine search and rescue ship built by the Z189 shipyard in Hai Phong.
According to Forum, the new LR11 SRV can operate at depths of up to 600 m and will be capable of rescuing up to 17 people at a time. It is divided into two sections: a command module for pilots and a rescue chamber for the submarine crew.
While building on earlier LR-class SRV designs produced by Perry Slingsby Systems – acquired by Forum Energy Technologies in February 2007 – LR11 offers increased power and utilises an advanced auxiliary thruster control system that allows for operations in high current conditions. The vehicle is able to attach to submarines at angles of above 40°.
LR11 will be shipped at the end of January. It will undergo final sea trials with its customer during the first quarter of 2021.