• 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 July 17

18:24 North P&I Club and 24Vision ink partnership agreement
18:07 Lockheed Martin awarded Navy's contract worth more than $450 million in FMS funding for MMSC project
17:55 TransContainer announced its operating results for the second quarter and the first half of 2018
17:27 Equinor buys shares for use in the group's Share saving plan
17:11 Vigor Marine LLC gets Navy's contract for USNS Mercy mid-term availability
16:56 Okskaya Sudoverf puts into operation Belmax 4, fourth non-self-propelled barge of Project ROB20
16:34 Prosafe awarded important contract in Brazil
15:47 Orsted opts for Tekmar's CPS for Borssele 1 and 2 offshore wind farm projects
15:28 Port of Rotterdam places a bee colony in the port area
14:44 Baltic Ports Conference 2018 will focus on financing, economy and energy supply
14:23 Jan De Nul launches ultra-low emission vessel Diogo Cão in China
13:41 Severnaya Verf will lay down a longline factory vessel Gandvik-1 on July 20
13:16 Tidewater and GulfMark to combine to create global offshore leader
12:48 Containership MOL Truth earned 'Ship of the Year 2017'
12:19 15,000 TEU container ship “Afif” named in London Gateway
11:27 Huntington Ingalls begins post-delivery work on USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)
11:17 Boskalis secures contract of total value of $65 million
10:53 Fuel oil prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
10:29 ABS to class FSRU for Turkey’s oil and gas distributor
10:00 Brent Crude futures price up 0.28% to $72.04, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.01% to $67.06
09:14 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,695 points

2018 July 16

18:31 APL adds port calls to West Asia Express Service
18:16 Diana Shipping announces signing and drawdown of a US$75M Term Loan Facility with BNP Paribas
17:55 Director Kopczynska addresses WMU students and faculty on maritime Europe
17:40 Great Lakes announces receipt of $70 million San Jacinto award
17:33 Bollinger Shipyards commits USCG icebreaker program to Florida
17:31 New vehicle terminal announced at the Port of Southampton
17:18 Hapag-Lloyd hikes rates for East Asia-Arabian Gulf trade
17:08 ING Bank signed a USD 80 million syndicated loan agreement with NIBULON
16:43 Minimum training standards for fishers under review
16:25 USCG rescues 7 people from capsized boat near Horn Island
16:20 Port of Antwerp sets new records with best half year ever
15:56 Freeport of Riga showed good growth in the first half of 2018
15:32 Maersk Drilling secures two contract extensions in the North Sea
15:19 Container throughput of port Hong Kong (China) down 3.6% to 9.88 million TEUs in Jan-June’18
15:03 Van Oord will acquire MPI Offshore
14:44 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 17,589 in RF spot market
14:35 Wärtsilä to assist Transocean with thruster maintenance optimisation and dry-docking cost reductions
14:25 Jan De Nul Group acquires part of MPI’s offshore business unit
14:11 Fednav accepts delivery of MV Federal Dee, its 60th owned vessel
13:46 Eastern Shipbuilding inks contract with Bisso Offshore for RApport 2400 Ship Handling Tug duo
13:27 Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company’s fleet is involved in a new international project
13:07 Court dismisses EUR 9 million claim against Armada Seismic Invest II AS
13:06 Hong Kong will host ShipTek Ship Owning & Ship Management Conference & Awards on 30 August 2018
12:48 Marine Recruiting Agency takes on a project of training crane specialists in Estonia
12:23 SEACOR Holdings announced that it favors a business combination of Dorian LPG LTD. and BW LPG Limited
12:02 IMO head highlights key maritime issues during trip to China
11:25 Fincantieri contracted to build LNG-fueled pair for TUI Cruises
11:01 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,666 points
10:44 Brent Crude futures price down 0.5% to $74.96, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.64% to $69.5
10:25 Mexico benefits from IMO training on port security
10:02 IMO held port emissions training for Argentina
09:52 CMA CGM's FAK rates for Asia to Red Sea trades
09:40 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in HI’18 up 1.7% Y-o-Y to 25.35 million tonnes
09:18 Port of Singapore throughput in HI’18 grew by 0.8% Y-o-Y to 312.79 million tonnes

2018 July 15

11:24 MAN Energy Solutions ready for SMM 2018
10:43 CMA CGM informs of FAK rates from the Indian Subcontinent to North Europe and the Mediterranean

2018 July 14

12:40 CMA CGM announces GRR for Far East to East Africa trade
11:41 ABP: Container terminal operation expansion to meet growing demand
10:14 Navtek selects Corvus Energy to provide battery for the world's first all-electric tug