• 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 November 24

20:49 Pella Shipyard launches Karakurt-class first serial corvette (Project 2280) ‘Typhoon’
18:06 Sanmar delivers two ASD tugs
18:06 RN Bunker supplies fuel to Rosmorport's STS Mir
17:36 DHT Holdings announces sale of its three oldest VLCCs
17:15 IMO holds training for port security staff in Guinea
16:47 Wärtsilä introduces its Smart Marine Ecosystem vision
16:46 Cargo traffic in Kama Basin of Russia’s IWW grew by 22.4% to 13.40 mln t (photo)
16:27 IMO addresses invasive aquatic species carried in ballast water through BWM Convention
15:59 State Duma approves prolongation of RF Government Decree No 383 through 2019
15:28 Bolwerk LLC selected as general contractor to build an international marine terminal in Pionersky, Kaliningrad Region
15:03 PSA Singapore and NUS sign MOU to develop Human Capital to support the growth of the port industry
14:31 Design works under MTH project to be completed in 2018
14:03 APM Terminals Inland Services expands to serve the industrial belt around Pune, India
13:40 Euronav sells VLCC Artois
13:29 Navigation season is over in White Sea – Onega Lake Basin of Russia’s IWW (photo)
13:02 The Port of Montreal invests in greening
12:30 ZIM posts Q3 2017 results
12:12 Lead buoy tender of Project BLV04 build for FSUE Rosmorport is put into operation (photo)
12:00 Public Transport Authority raises Saudi flag on Bahri’s fifth VLCC received in 2017
11:30 GVT to increase the frequency of its rail shuttle service between Rotterdam and Chengdu in China
11:14 Europort confirms role as international maritime business hub
11:01 British ports welcome Budget announcements on Brexit scenario funding and freight review
10:45 Financial support for the Polar Code and the Sustainable Development Goals
10:31 European ports welcome the EP Transport Committee vote for a stronger CEF budget
10:11 Finnlines finishes the first lengthening project of ro-ro vessel
10:01 Brent Crude futures price down 0.27% to $63.38, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.76% to $58.46
09:37 Bunker prices are flat at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:20 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,445 points
07:48 Palau International Ship Registry is the fastest growing flag

2017 November 23

18:05 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to Mediterranean
17:54 Mercury-1 ferry of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company successfully passed sea test after major repairs
17:35 Ophir issues update on the status of the Fortuna FLNG project
17:20 Opatija, Croatia hosts three-day conference “The Port of Rijeka, Gateway of the Baltic-Adriatic Core Network Corridor”
17:05 Navantia and Bath Iron Works team for the US Navy Future Guided Missile Frigates
16:50 Throughput of Chinese ports up 7.2% to 7.23 bln t in 10M’17
16:35 COSCO (Guangdong) Shipyard delivers research/survey vessel to Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey
16:05 CMA CGM announces GRI from Asia to ECSA
16:03 Bunker prices may turn into irregular phase in the lead-up to OPEC’s meeting
15:44 Okskaya shipyard lays down the first non-self-propelled oil barge in a series of ten vessels ordered by STLC
15:33 European Sea Ports Organisation welcomes a deadline for global solution on CO2 from shipping
15:00 Ports of Ayr and Troon celebrate delivery of new Scottish-built pilot vessel
14:19 Corvette Soobrazitelny, Baltic Fleet, performed some training missions in piracy affected areas in Gulf of Aden
14:02 Wärtsilä engines and exhaust gas cleaning chosen for new cruise ship
13:23 Navigation 2017 to close in Azov-Don Basin of Russia’s IWW on 1 December 2017
13:02 Oldendorff Carriers receives IBJ Bulk Ship Operator of the Year award
12:36 Russia’s General Board of State Expert Review approves Phase I of Bagayevsky Hydrosystem project
12:10 Ports of Ayr and Troon celebrate delivery of new Scottish-built pilot vessel
11:52 Marine Recruiting Agency goes on with the program of RTG operators training
11:29 Coal exports via Rosterminalugol terminal hit 22 mln t milestone this year (photo)
11:04 MGO prices are still high at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
10:41 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in Jan-Oct'17 grew by 16% to 11.28 mln t
10:18 Brent Crude futures price down 0.25% to $63.16, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.21% to $57.90
09:53 Ukraine’s water transport carried 0.5 mln passengers in Jan-Oct'17, up 30.2%, Y-o-Y
09:35 Port of Singapore throughput up 5.9% to 519.68 mln t in 10M’17
09:17 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,413 points

2017 November 22

18:02 Throughput of port Vyborg up 13% to 1.24 mln t in 10M’17
17:46 New research reveals ‘golden period’ ahead for the Port of Barrow
17:24 Iceland accedes to air pollution treaty
17:03 MSC receives the ‘Container Line of the Year’ award
16:35 Throughput of port Primorsk in 10M’17 down 9% Y-o-Y to 49.40 mln t