Fire risk is constantly present on board navy vessels, and crew need to know they have the best equipment at hand to quickly contain the flames and minimise damage. Here, the emergency firefighting water pump is an essential element in fire-fighting equipment. It is vital that such pumps are highly effective, while being relatively light and compact for easy mobility and storage. And of course, the crew need to have confidence that the pumps will work exactly as expected, when they’re needed.
The Royal Navy first approached DESMI in the early 2000s to help develop a customised pump solution that could be used for its minesweepers – and which could potentially be used on a wider range of vessels, since using the same pump would ease the overall maintenance burden and simplify both training and operations.
Military-grade requirements The Royal Navy had several specific requirements for its fire-fighting pumps, seeking a relatively light, hand-carried unit that can be stored on deck, at times in a special enclosure. The pump’s weight and size must enable it to be brought to the emergency’s location and quickly connected to hoses before pumping sea water. And each pump must be manufactured to a pre-defined capacity and pressure.
Rapid action The current version, Mark 3, weighs around 100 kg and can be carried by four people. It is relatively light considering its power, mainly due to a lightweight diesel engine and the design of its stainlesssteel frame. Contributing to the unit’s robustness is a special coating, which makes it resistant to wear and seawater corrosion.
High-performance flow The portable pump’s official name, DESMI SP-D3-2, reflects its super-priming capabilities, impeller diameter and double-stage design. A combined water ring, priming and centrifugal pump, it is equally effective at pumping water up from sea level as it is at creating optimal pressure and flow. The water ring section of the pump allows it to prime very quickly – a significant advantage when extremely fast fire response is demanded.
The SP-D3-2 creates a flow of 40 cubic metres per hour at a pressure of seven bar. Its suction capability is up to seven metres above the sea’s surface, easily exceeding the minimum requirement of four metres.
Reliable winner Ministry of Defence Senior Maritime Engineer Mike Sampson, is well satisfied with the DESMI pumps: “These pumps do exactly what they’re supposed to,” he says. “And the latest version is a highly reliable unit that is not only well suited to emergency firefighting, but which is just as useful for disaster relief tasks, providing a portable water pump that can help to clear flooding or provide fresh water where it’s needed.”
The success of the pumps has already gained the attention of armed forces and other customers around the world with a similar set of needs. “We have already developed customised versions of the diesel-driven firefighting pump for the offshore sector and other navies around the world,” says Martin Bro.