• 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.




2017 September 21

16:43 Ukraine’s water transport carried 0.4 mln passengers in Jan-Aug'17, up 40.2%, Y-o-Y
16:19 Vympel Shipyard dispatched two fast patrol boats of Project 12150, Mangust, to Sakhalin
16:02 Rolls-Royce and Inmarsat sign ship energy management agreement
15:26 MABUX: Global bunker market turns in the rebalancing direction
15:24 Cargo transportation by Ukraine’s water transport down 11.4% to 3.6 mln t in 8M’17
15:02 Wärtsilä marine gear boxes to be produced by Siemens
14:41 Black Fleet frigate Admiral Essen returns to Sevastopol from Mediterranean
14:02 Finnlines to lengthen four of its "Breeze series" vessels
13:50 Photo release “IAA PortNews at the NEVA 2017”
13:17 Sovcomflot CEO Sergey Frank meets IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim
13:02 Aker Solutions wins Troll FEED contract with EPCI option from Statoil
12:31 RF Navy’s Northern Fleet takes part in combined-arms exercise in the Barents Sea
12:08 Dorian LPG selects ABS to evaluate LPG as fuel and other 2020 compliance options
11:39 Fuel oil prices are still high at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:08 ZIM marks the 3 millionth container carried through DaChan Bay Terminals
10:47 IMO conducted table-top exercise on maritime security in Lima, Peru
10:29 Brent Crude futures price down 0.23% to $56.16, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.12% to $50.63
10:08 MAN Diesel & Turbo concludes dual-fuel ‘Wes Amelie’ LNG conversion project
09:50 Port of Gdansk to cooperate with new foreign partners - Ukraine and Qatar
09:32 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,449 points
09:17 NCSP volumes for 8M 2017 totaled 97 million tons
09:08 Royal IHC launches NMDC’s first custom-built TSHD
08:28 Berth rehabilitation continues apace at APM Terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey
08:02 Samsung Heavy Industries showcases in-house glycol LNG regasification system to shipowners
07:57 Wärtsilä tests its automatic wireless induction charging system on a hybrid powered coastal ferry

2017 September 20

18:04 IMO talks Polar matters in Russia
17:49 Uniper and Pavilion Gas sign LNG deal providing access to their assets in respective home markets
17:32 Seaspan accepts delivery of 11000 TEU SAVER containership
17:22 Songa Bulk ASA announces acquisition of Kamsarmax bulk carrier
17:17 Digital Ship returns to Singapore on 4 October with a focus on investigating maritime’s digital future
16:55 Damen to open service hub in Russian Black Sea port
16:48 Almaz Shipyard hosts flag hoising ceremeny for patrol ship Predanny of Project 22460
16:14 Nevsky Shipyard took part in the International Fishery Forum
15:50 Russia and India to cooperate on development of high-speed maritime transport based on Russian designs (photo)
15:12 NIBULON finished constructing B2000 Project vessels
14:37 Gazprom Neft undertakes the company’s largest ever maritime oil shipment
14:06 RF Transport Minister: waterways of Saint-Petersburg can obtain a status of regional waterways in navigation season of 2018 (photo)
13:23 Port of King's Lynn celebrates new bulk store terminal opening
13:09 Skangas’ Coralius performs first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering
12:51 WMU holds inauguration of the Class of 2018 MSc in Maritime Affairs
12:15 Qatargas and BOTAŞ (Turkey) sign new LNG agreement
11:49 IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim considers Russia to be one of the key players at the IMO
11:39 Northwest Seaport Alliance container volumes up 6 percent in August 2017
10:43 GTT announces an evolution of the Mark III Flex technology
10:14 Brent Crude futures price up 0.44% to $55.38, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.80% to $50.30
09:55 Bunker prices go up at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:31 RS describes procedure for obtaining of Polar Ship Certificates (photo)
09:13 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,415 points

2017 September 19

18:06 Samskip expands shortsea services in Scotland
17:48 Arctic Economic Council welcomes three new members
17:25 IMO is attending 34th session of ASEAN to update the Maritime Transport Working Group on its latest activities
17:06 Turkish shipyard Cemre Marin Endüstri A.S orders 4 x MAN 8L21/31 variable speed GenSets
16:39 Marine Engineering Bureau: half of Russia’s towing fleet is renovated, bunkering fleet situation is worse
16:14 MSC announces a new service between South America’s east coast and the Mediterranean
16:04 Port of Southampton completes construction of sixth multi-story car park
15:52 Turkish landing ship Bayraktar arrived in Novorosiysk
15:27 USPA announces tender for procurement of dredging vessel
15:04 GY Marinas and P&O Marinas launch superyacht complex in Sète, France
14:39 Commissioning works commenced at KN‘s LNG reloading station
14:14 Port of Gdansk, Port of Gdynia and Baltic Gateway attended Seatrade Europe in Hamburg