• 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 January 18

18:01 ABP South Wales ports see strong growth in 2017
17:39 Russian Union of Water Transport Workers congratulates North-Western Shipping Company on its 95th anniversary!
16:24 Fincantieri signs cooperation protocol with the autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia and the trade unions
16:02 MABUX: Bunker prices wait for the new market catalysts
15:33 Port of Marseille Fos and HAROPA launch new rail shuttle
15:02 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Africa and from Asia to the Mediterranean
14:32 Unifeeder adds Vlissingen to its service
14:19 Three vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on Jan 17-18
14:02 Ocean Network Express receives all necessary merger approvals
13:50 RPK-Vysotsk-LUKOIL-II terminal received 10.06 mln t of export oil products in 2017
13:32 Part-load optimisation delivers significant fuel savings for MAN auxiliary engines
13:28 Van Oord supports V Forum of Dredging Companies as its Sponsor
13:12 Rolls-Royce announces strategic review of Commercial Marine operation
12:50 Kerch ferry line carried 5.71 mln passengers in 2017, down 4% Y-o-Y
12:31 Wan Hai Lines to launch Japan Express Service to Singapore Malaysia
12:08 Port of Amsterdam receives LME certification
11:59 Vroon awarded multi-year charter for two PX-121 platform-supply vessels
11:36 Chevron Shipping awards global oil and LNG contract to GAC
11:05 German LNG Terminal launches Open Season
10:27 Brent Crude futures price up 0.14% to $69.48, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.34% to $64.19
10:04 FSUE Morsviazsputnik congratulates North-Western Shipping Company on its 95th anniversary!
09:42 Port of Klaipeda (Lithuania) handled 43.17 mln t of cargo in 2017, up 7.5% Y-o-Y
09:19 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,164 points

2018 January 17

18:00 Federal Agency for Water Resources supports Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging Congress
17:03 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Phaidra with Uniper
16:48 Sweden's Minister of Infrastructure visited World Maritime University
16:34 DNV GL launches certification framework and recommended practice for Carbon Capture and Storage
16:03 JAXPORT hires new Container Accounts Director
15:50 Lotos shipyard lays down paddle cruiser of Golden Ring design (photo)
15:42 Norwegian Central Bank excludes Evergreen Marine, Precious Shipping, Korea Line and Thorensen Thai Agencies from the Government Pension Fund Global
15:21 Three vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on Jan 16-17
15:04 DNV GL launches new JDP to test biodegradable lubricants
14:49 Beginning of icebreaker assistance period announced at port Primorsk (Leningrad Region)
14:33 “K” Line Group announces name change of two ship management subsidiaries
14:11 Throughput of port Helsinki (Finland) up 14.2% to 14.27 mln t in 2017 (table)
14:03 SBM Offshore completes Turritella handover and transaction
13:25 Throughput of port Kavkaz up 40% to 44.293 mln t in 2017
13:08 OOCL christens the last in latest series of ‘G-Class’ containerships
12:54 Yevgeny Zagorodny steps down as Vice-President of United Shipbuilding Corporation
12:26 Coal exports via Rosterminalugol terminal hit 1 mln t milestone this year (photo)
12:01 The Port of Helsinki takes the top spot among European passenger ports
11:22 De Boer/Dutch Dredging and Iskes Towage take delivery of ASD 2310 SD at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld
10:43 Port of Gdansk throughput up 9% to 40.6 mln t in 2017
10:19 Brent Crude futures price down 0.1% to $69.08, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.11% to $63.66
10:00 NOVATEK’s hydrocarbons production in 2017 totaled 513.3 mln boe, down 6.2% Y-o-Y
09:37 Bunker prices are flat at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:15 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,221 points
09:08 Hamburg Süd honored twice for sustainability
08:14 COSCO's container ship to receive cyber enabled ship descriptive note ‘Cyber AL3 SECURE PERFORM (Energy Management System)’

2018 January 16

18:21 Kommer Damen opens Damen Area Support China
18:08 DNV GL approves latest Kongsberg Digital Engine Room Simulators
17:49 Russian Railways: Loading of Russia’s export cargo bound for domestic ports up 6.4% Y-o-Y to 293.4 mln t in 2017
17:26 State stevedores of Ukraine handled 34.73 mln t of cargo in 2017, down 9.6% Y-o-Y
17:00 Andrey Lavrishchev’s report at Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging Congress will focus on promising port projects
16:35 Installation of Belgian topside for offshore substation marks milestone in further construction of Merkur Offshore Wind Farm
16:04 Maersk Line announces increase in FAK rates from Northern Europe to Middle East and ISC and from Mediterranean to Far East
15:52 Jotun Paints congratulates North-Western Shipping Company on its 95th anniversary!
15:34 DNV GL launches new JDP to test biodegradable lubricants
15:04 TTS Group ASA secures contract with Cosco (Dalian) Shipyard for TTS cranes
14:45 New Delhi will host 5th edition of Oil Spill India Conference on 5-6 July 2018