The first ever Unmanned Marine Systems (UMS) certificate has been awarded to SEA-KIT International by Lloyd’s Register, representing an important milestone.
SEA-KIT has worked closely with Lloyd’s Register since early 2020 in a concerted effort to achieve the highest standards for the Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) sector, culminating with their latest 12m X-class USV for leading geo-data specialist, Fugro, being awarded the new UMS certification on 28 June 2021. Not only is this an important achievement for SEAKIT, but it also represents a significant recognition by Lloyd’s Register for the wider maritime community.
Paul James, Lloyd’s Register’s Naval Centre of Expertise Manager, said: “Lloyd’s Register has been working on the safety assurance of Unmanned Marine Systems since the launch of our UMS Code in 2017. Early on, we recognised the industry’s need for a cost effective and robust method to demonstrate that unmanned novel and complex systems are safe. The Lloyd’s Register naval team welcomed the opportunity to work with SEA-KIT to delve into the design, operation and construction of its latest Unmanned Surface Vessel. We are pleased to provide certification and safety assurance of SEA-KIT’s unmanned system.”
Unmanned systems technologies continue to gain a stronghold in the offshore 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.
Ivar de Josselin de Jong, Global Director Remote Inspection at Fugro, said: “This is a ground-breaking milestone as it 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.”
SEA-KIT has identified numerous applications for its USV technology in other marine sectors and recently ran a series of live capability demonstrations for maritime defence and security stakeholders from its base in Tollesbury, Essex.
By Jake Frith