• 2017 September 12 14:51

    Rolls-Royce reveals plans for autonomous Naval vessel

    Rolls-Royce has revealed plans for an autonomous, single role, naval vessel with a range of 3500 nautical miles, the company said in its press release.

    The vessel concept is capable of operating beyond the horizon for over 100 days, will displace 700 tonnes and reach speeds above 25 knots. The 60m long vessel is designed to perform a range of single role missions, for example, patrol & surveillance, mine detection or fleet screening.

    At the heart of the vessel is a robust and reliable power dense propulsion system. This combines Rolls-Royce’s proven expertise in both gas turbines and diesels with a demonstrable track record in electric propulsion, energy storage and propulsors.

    According to Benjamin Thorp, Rolls-Royce, General Manager Naval Electrics, Automation and Control, “Rolls-Royce is seeing interest from major navies in autonomous, rather than remote controlled, ships. Such ships offer a way to deliver increased operational capability, reduce the risk to crew and cut both operating and build costs.

    “Over the next 10 years or so, Rolls-Royce expects to see the introduction of medium sized unmanned platforms, particularly in leading navies, as the concept of mixed manned and unmanned fleets develops. With our experience and capabilities we expect to lead the field.”

    Larger manned ships will cover multi-role missions. Allowing fleet composition to be mixed in this way, navies will reap the operational and cost benefits offered by autonomous technology.

    The initial design features a full electric propulsion system which requires fewer auxiliary systems (lubrication, cooling system etc.) and offers better reliability levels than mechanical counterparts. It features two Rolls-Royce MTU 4000 Series gensets providing around 4MW electrical power to a 1.5MW propulsion drive. An alternative to diesel engines could be small gas turbines, further improving the system’s reliability and reducing onboard maintenance. Permanent Magnet Azipull thrusters together with a bow mounted tunnel thruster will make the vessel highly manoeuvrable. To reduce fuel consumption and extend operational range an additional 3000 kWh of energy storage will facilitate efficient low speed loiter operations and the vessel will also be fitted with photovoltaic solar panels to generate power when the vessel is on standby.

    The absence of crew increases the need for very reliable power and propulsion systems. Rolls-Royce’s approach is to blend advanced Intelligent Asset Management and system redundancy in a cost effective manner that avoids sacrificing the cost and volume savings achieved by removing the crew. A suite of autonomous support tools, developed by Rolls-Royce, such as Energy Management, Equipment Health Monitoring and predictive and remote maintenance, will ensure the availability of unmanned vessels.

    Many of the technologies needed to make autonomous ships a reality already exist. Rolls-Royce has created what it believes to be the world’s first Intelligent Awareness System combining multiple sensors with Artificial Intelligence, to help commercial vessels operate more safely and efficiently. Significant analysis of potential cyber risks is also being undertaken to ensure end-to-end security.

    Autonomous technology presents an opportunity to automate certain parts of the ship’s operations and the partial removal of sailors reduces operating costs and improves safety by limiting the number of people exposed to hazards.

2018 March 21

00:32 Ontario Government accepts Damen proposal for full ferry electrification

2018 March 20

18:20 Sirius Petroleum announces delivery of compact well head systems for Ororo-4 and Ororo-5
18:02 Leningrad Region Governor visits Vyborg Shipyard
17:56 PSA’s Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals enhances Nhava Sheva connectivity with first barge and train volumes
17:40 Van Oord posts results for 2017
17:25 Nevsky Shipyard designed a unique test stand
16:58 Multi-Link Terminals Ltd Oy orders Konecranes ship-to-shore crane for its Helsinki terminal
16:40 SMM 2018: green shipping makes headway
16:01 Transit shipments of containers on Russian Railways' network increased by 40% in January-February 2018
15:36 Rotterdam, the Netherlands will host 21st Ballast Water Management Conference on 7-8 November, 2018
15:13 NWSA container volumes grow 6 percent in February 2018
14:50 IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim spoke at International Shipping Summit in Istanbul
14:24 More than half of spaces at icebreaker Arktika being built by Baltiysky Zavod are ready for outfitting (photo)
14:12 Maersk Line increases FAK rates from Far East to North Europe
13:35 Dredging works to be performed at seaport of Vladivostok
13:13 BP charters Safe Caledonia for West of Shetland
12:47 Traffic of passenger cars and buses through Crimea Bridge to be launched in May 2018 – RF Transport Ministry (photo)
12:01 Wan Hai Lines to launch new China to Vietnam service
11:51 40 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on March 19-20
11:28 Bunker prices level up at the Far East ports of Russia following last week’s fall (graph)
11:19 Maersk Line stops Winter Fee from world to St Petersburg FCT, RU, St Petersburg, RU, St Petersburg FP, RU, Ust Luga, RU and Kronshtadt
11:03 Skangas celebrates milestone with 1,000 LNG bunkering operations in 2017
10:40 Experts say Wärtsilä – Transas transaction is a step towards Wartsila localization in Russia
10:14 Brent Crude futures price up 0.3% to $66.25, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.34% to $62.34
09:37 Rosneft produced 225.5 mmtoe of liquid hydrocarbons in 2017, up 7.3% YoY
09:15 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,136 points

2018 March 19

18:06 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to East Africa
18:00 NIBULON awarded first advanced training certificates of state standard to shipbuilders
17:39 Vladivostok Sea Fishing Port handled 618,500 tonnes of fish in 2M’18, up 19.8% Y-o-Y
17:22 Gross revenue of Sovcomflot in 2017 grew by 3.4% to $1.43 billion
16:58 VSC terminal launches train services to Ramenskoye Station
16:41 Wagenborg carries out inspections in Russian Far East
16:30 ClassNK releases Guidelines for Direct Load Analysis and Strength Assessment of hull structure
16:06 Port of Rotterdam Authority: solid financial results in 2017 create new scope for ambitious investment programme
15:49 Maersk Line relaunches Asia-Europe Network to increase schedule reliability
15:43 Port of Rotterdam could increase its market share in certain regions in South-West Germany by up to 23%
15:17 North Rhine-Westphalia and Port of Rotterdam make start on port agreement
14:54 Exercise on maritime security held in Nigeria on 14-16 March
14:29 Rosneft posts growth of its net income in 2017, by 40.7% to USD 3.8 billion
13:55 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 11,944 in RF spot market
13:32 Workshop on how to design and conduct drills and maritime security exercises held in Jamaica
13:10 DP World and NIIF joint venture Hindustan Infralog to acquire 90% of Continental Warehousing Corporation in India
12:48 52 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on March 18-19
12:21 Wärtsilä acquires Transas to accelerate its Smart Marine Ecosystem vision
12:05 ULSTEIN holds steel cutting for SunStone's X-BOW expedition cruise vessel
11:49 Aker Arctic and ICEYE to provide satellite ice information
11:30 13th Arctic Passion Seminar held in Helsinki
11:08 Bibby Offshore announces merger with Rever Offshore
10:45 Container throughput of port Hong Kong (China) up 2.2% to 3.22 million TEUs in Jan-Feb’18
10:23 Brent Crude futures price down 0.48% to $65.89, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.46% to $62.12
10:08 MSC launches new freight rail service between Seville, Spain, and the Atlantic
09:42 Singapore will host 17th Vessel Efficiency and Fuel Management Summit on 29-30 August 2018
09:17 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,143 points
09:08 Ulstein celebrates keel laying of Lindblad’s first polar new build
08:04 DP World acquires fully integrated logistics services provider in Peru

2018 March 17

06:48 Seatrade convicted for trafficking toxic ships

2018 March 16

18:06 Rijkswaterstaat awards Afsluitdijk project to Levvel consortium
17:36 HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai handles new record ship
17:05 ICS publishes latest Flag State Performance Table
16:51 Vladimir Putin inspected the completed new road section of the Crimean Bridge