MULTI-BOAT handling capability will determine whether the new generation of multi-role ships can meet rising security, exploration, humanitarian and environmental challenges, according to Vestdavit.
The Norway-based boat system and market-leading davit-handling specialist recently secured a market breakthrough for its innovative MissionEase multi-boat handling solution for mission bays, after a first order from offshore support vessel operator Esvagt.
MissionEase is the first multi-boat handling system designed from concept stage to offer the complete answer to the boat launch and recovery challenges set by terrorism, piracy, minesweeping, and border security, to dive support, oil spills, SAR and humanitarian aid. It uses a system of hydraulic cradles running along the mission bay deck to move boats from their stowage positions to the maintenance, preparation or launch areas. The patented feeding system links seamlessly with dual or single-point davits to launch or recover boats.
Esvagt has specified MissionEase for installation onboard a crew change vessel under construction at Spanish shipbuilder Astillero Zamakona, for delivery at the end of the year. The vessel will include a hangar for four boats, fed via a transverse MissionEase cradle with lift and lowering capability to one Vestdavit TDB-5000 telescopic davit on each side of ship. In its full version, which includes longitudinal cradles, MissionEase can stow, launch and retrieve up to seven different RIBS, daughter boats and Unmanned Surface Vehicles safely and quickly in high seas from within the ship’s protected hangar.
“Technology on board that achieves the safest and most efficient boat launch and recovery operations has never been more critical for the multi-role ship,” said Atle Kalve, Vestdavit Development Director. “The mission bay is a key feature of new generation OPVs, naval support and combat ships. USV deployment at sea is also crucial for a growing number of seismic ships, while mega yacht and exploration cruise ship owners are progressively demanding to launch and recover a wider variety of daughter boats.”
Using MissionEase, the complete transfer, launch and recovery operation can be controlled remotely by a single member of the crew or through manual back up, while the system has accumulators built-in to perform emergency operations, in case of blackouts.
Featuring its own braking system, MissionEase allows boats to be moved within the bay, even in high seas or with a list on the vessel, then fed directly to the davits for launch, or back to stow when recovered. MissionEase maximises the operational window for mission bays, Kalve said, adding that the system also handles ISO containers when the vessel is in port.
“Many multi-boat handling existing systems rely on gantries to lift boats within the bay. This can be hazardous when ships are in motion, while slinging and unslinging boats consumes precious time that multi-role ships often cannot afford.
“MissionEase is simpler, quicker, safer and cheaper than any boat handling system available and brings together all of our experience with naval and seismic ships to make the best use of a hangar or mission bay.”
Being able to deploy a wide range of types and sizes and boats, and unmanned surface vehicles quickly and safely allows multi-role ships to adapt to changing missions, he added. “When multiple ships are involved in the same mission, MissionEase could enhance fleet responsiveness by allowing individual ships to pick up boats belonging to other vessels rapidly.”