ROV manufacturer Forum Energy Technologies has completed the construction of what it says is a highly advanced submarine rescue vehicle (SRV), which may be utilized to extract submariners from distress situations.
According to Forum, the LR-class SRV is capable of rescuing up to 17 people at a time and operate at depths of up to 600 meters.
“The new model 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. The vehicle is able to attach to submarines at highly precarious angles, above 40 degrees,” Forum said.
The submersible vehicle is equipped with sensors and sonars that are able to locate a distressed submarine “as quickly as possible.”
“This includes a doppler velocity log, fiber optic gyroscope, sonar and depth sensing. All sensors and sonar systems are fully embedded into Forum’s software to deliver advanced functionality, including auto depth, auto heading and autopilot. The latter function utilizes an electric propulsor pivot mechanism and is unique to the company’s LR-class SRV,” Forum explained.
The LR-Class SRV is divided into two sections, a command module for pilots and a rescue chamber for the submarine crew. The rescue chamber can be pressurized as necessary to ensure rescued crew are decompressed to prevent decompression sickness (the bends). Once at the surface, the vessel latches to a decompression chamber where crew are safely transferred, Forum said.
Kevin Taylor, Forum’s Vice President – Subsea Vehicles, commented: “When a navy submarine runs into trouble and sends out an urgent SOS, the rescue mission quickly becomes a time-critical military operation to save those on board and prevent worsening health conditions, including decompression sickness (the bends) or fatalities. The SRV must therefore be highly reliable.”
The first of the latest LR-class SRV is being packaged and shipped to its final destination later this month (January) before undergoing final sea trials with the client during Q1 2021.