UK-based Sea-Kit International has received the first-ever Unmanned Marine Systems (UMS) certificate from Lloyd’s Register
Vessel builder Sea-Kit worked with Lloyd’s Register from early in 2020, with the partnership culminating in the delivery of 12m X-class USVs for geo-data specialist Fugro.
With remotely controlled and autonomous vessels being increasingly deployed for work in the offshore energy sectors, unmanned systems technologies are continuing to gain a strong foothold in sector. Fugro’s Sea-Kit USVs are already working on commercial projects around the world, with multiple additional builds planned that include a larger vessel later this year. The first of Fugro’s 12m Sea-Kit X class USVs have been deployed for pipeline inspections in Australia.
“Lloyd’s Register has been working on the safety assurance of Unmanned Marine Systems since the launch of our UMS Code in 2017,” said LR naval centre of expertise manager Paul James. “We recognised the industry’s need for a cost-effective and robust method to demonstrate that unmanned novel and complex systems are safe.”
Sea-Kit CEO Ben Simpson added that he hoped this would be “the first of many as we continue ... in the development of safe, multi-mission USV platforms”.
Fugro global director remote inspection Ivar de Josselin de Jong said the delivery “provides the framework needed to certify the safe design and build of our Blue Essence USV fleet. It will enable us, our clients and the flag states to achieve the ambitious net-zero targets that we have set. A world-first for the industry, it’s great to be able to contribute to the transformation of the maritime business in this way.”