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SEA-KIT USV receives LR unmanned marine systems certification

Fugro Blue Essence USV and ROV heading to a project in the APAC region. Image courtesy of Fugro Fugro Blue Essence USV and ROV heading to a project in the APAC region. Image courtesy of Fugro

The first ever Unmanned Marine Systems (UMS) certificate has been awarded to SEA-KIT International by Lloyd’s Register, representing an important milestone for the maritime industry.

SEA-KIT has worked closely with Lloyd’s Register since early 2020 to achieve the highest standards for the Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) sector, culminating with its latest 12m X-class USV for geo-data specialist, Fugro, being awarded the new UMS certification on 28 June 2021.

Paul James, Lloyd’s Register’s naval centre of expertise manager, said: “Lloyd’s Register has been working on the safety assurance of Unmanned Marine Systems since the launch of our UMS Code in 2017. Early on, we recognised the industry’s need for a cost effective and robust method to demonstrate that unmanned novel and complex systems are safe. The Lloyd’s Register naval team welcomed the opportunity to work with SEA-KIT to delve into the design, operation and construction of its latest Unmanned Surface Vessel. We are pleased to provide certification and safety assurance of SEA-KIT’s unmanned system.”

Ben Simpson, SEA-KIT CEO, said: “We thrive on challenging ourselves to continuously raise the bar and this is yet another example of hard work by the whole team paying off. Everyone here at SEA-KIT was integral to this achievement. We are absolutely delighted to be the first to receive UMS certification from Lloyd’s Register and hope that this will be the first of many as we continue to push boundaries and set the highest standards in the development of safe, multi-mission USV platforms.”

Unmanned systems technologies continue to gain a stronghold in the offshore sector. Fugro’s SEA-KIT USVs are already working on commercial projects around the world, with multiple additional builds planned that include a larger vessel later this year.

Ivar de Josselin de Jong, global director remote inspection at Fugro, said: “This is a ground-breaking milestone as it provides the framework needed to certify the safe design and build of our Blue Essence USV fleet. It will enable us, our clients and the Flag States to achieve the ambitious net-zero targets that we have set. A world-first for the industry, it’s great to be able to contribute to the transformation of the maritime business in this way.”

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