• 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 February 22

18:25 European Commission fines maritime car carriers, parts suppliers in three separate cartel settlements
18:11 Port of Gdansk expects multimilloin investments
17:51 Port of St. Petersburg bunker prices edge up (graph)
17:35 Russia’s antitrust regulator gives Transneft green light on Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port deal
17:02 Maersk Line announces an increase in FAK rates from Far East to North Europe
16:02 The tall ship that harnesses the wind to recharge its batteries
15:29 Port of Tallinn opens passenger terminal A renovated arrivals hall
15:13 MABUX: Bunker market may continue moderate upward evolution next week
15:02 GoodBulk announces delivery of two Capesize vessels
14:40 New product tanker of RTS27M series Balt Flot 20 takes to the water at Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard
14:02 European Commission issues decision concerning the Violation of European Antitrust Law
13:35 Vostochny Port JSC picks contractors for coal transfer stations Phase 3 project
13:32 HMM reaches over 10,000 TEU in terms of volume of its US Premium Service
13:02 Boskalis receives EUR 300 million Letter of Award for Singapore Finger Pier 3 development
12:24 Northwest Seaport Alliance container volumes decline in January
12:17 Bunker prices in Far East seaports close the week flat
12:12 Rolls-Royce to supply propellers and mission bay technology for UK Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship
10:41 Crude oil futures prices fell 0.81% to $64,89 in London, in New York – by 1.07% to $61,02
10:32 Waterborne freight in Ukraine rose in January by 71.7% to 300,000 tonnes
10:05 CMA CGM announces GRR from the U.A.E. to West Africa
09:18 Waterborne passenger traffic in Ukraine plummets 44.4% in January
09:13 Baltic Dry Index gains to 1146 points
09:05 Konecranes strengthens its bulk handling presence in Japan with a Model 4 mobile harbor crane
08:17 World port accelerator programme PortXL to be launched in Singapore

2018 February 21

19:06 Russia’s State Duma set to change tariff policy to lend a helping hand to inland water transport
18:07 ONE, OOCL and SACO Shipping use booking tool eBooking
17:43 Renovated Stena Line Terminal at Europoort starts operation
17:06 Project to map ocean floor by 2030 now operational
16:52 Rosterminalugol export coal terminal handles 3-millionth tonne YTD
16:22 Zelenodolsk Shipyard to host keel-laying of 11th Buyan-M class corvette, Feb. 23
15:03 Launching of RST27M Balt Flot 20 at Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard slated for Feb. 22
14:14 NGO Shipbreaking Platform publishes list of ships dismantled worldwide in 2017
13:18 ATOMFLOT says Russia needs nine more icebreakers for the Northern Sea Route by 2025
13:01 Clarksons Platou collaborates with Maersk Line to provide shipping services in Egypt
12:43 Big Port of St. Petersburg imposes ice restrictions in the harbour effective as of March 7, 2018
12:31 Castellammare Di Stabia starts slipway works on the multipurpose amphibious unit
12:10 Rosterminalugol transferred over RUB 1.5bn of taxes to different budgets
12:01 Panama Canal hosts Cheniere Energy to discuss LNG’s Future at the waterway
11:25 MOL car carrier rescues castaways in the North Atlantic Ocean
10:53 Crude oil futures prices edge down 0.8% to $64,73 in London and 1% to $61,17 in New York
10:46 Sovcomflot and Shell ink time-charter agreements for Aframax LNG-powered duo
10:35 Vostochny Port obtains ISO 14001:2015 certificate
09:48 Port of St. Petersburg bunker prices move upward
09:26 Baltic Dry Index rises 2.76% to 1117 points

2018 February 20

18:37 Time is running out to register for the Dangerous Goods: New Requirements for Transportation Conference, March 1, 2018
18:31 Russian association of fishery businesses call to revise a 'fishing quotas per a keel' terms
18:06 AVANZA completes a successful trial with Daikin Reefer
17:38 The Maritime CIO Forume Cyprus 2018 to be held in Limassol, March 27
17:03 DNV GL issues over 50,000 electronic certificates
16:55 RIMS secured a further class approval from Korean Register of Shipping for the use of drones during surveys
16:39 Taganrog Commercial Sea Port spent $156 000 on environment protection in 2017
16:34 Wärtsilä and Maersk Drilling create a joint 25-year strategy for thruster services to increase uptime and reduce costs
16:04 Post-Brexit port health border disruption still a major concern for British ports
15:34 Goltens teams up with Yara Marine on SOx scrubbers
15:21 Taganrog Sea Commercial Port earmarked $74,4 to support social programmes in 2017
15:04 US Navy awards concept design contract to Fincantieri to evolve FREMM into FFG(X)
14:32 Port of Marseille Fos traffic up 8% in 2017
14:02 The largest vessel enters Busan Port since its opening
13:32 Carnival Fascination resumes year-round service from San Juan
13:20 Port of Kavkaz sees a 50% spike in freight volumes, to 1.98 million tonnes