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Robert Allan Ltd. and Kongsberg Maritime to Develop Remotely-Operated Fireboats for Ports

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By MarEx 2018-02-05 21:10:00

To address the evolving safety and security needs of modern ports, Vancouver based naval architects and marine engineers Robert Allan Ltd., and international marine technology specialist Kongsberg Maritime are collaborating on the development of a radically new remotely-operated fireboat that will allow first responders to attack dangerous port fires more aggressively and safer than ever before.

The un-crewed RALamander fireboat will offer in-close firefighting and ‘eye in the fire’ capability that keeps marine firefighting professionals out of harm's way. Fires involving containers, petrochemicals, shore-side structures or vessels can be attacked more quickly in situations where toxic smoke or explosion risk may delay or even prevent manned assets from responding effectively. RALamander can serve as a force multiplier with conventional firefighting assets, or be deployed on its own.

The Kongsberg Maritime control & communications system will feature a robust high-bandwidth, low latency wireless link to a semi-portable RALamander operator console that can be located on a manned fireboat, or other vessel of opportunity such as a tug or pilot boat. In common with other KONGSBERG autonomous control systems, the versatile architecture of RALamander’s control system will leave the door open to a range of autonomy levels, which are configurable or future-upgradable to suit the operator or port’s evolving needs.

The first in the series, the 20 m RALamander 2000, will be equipped with Fi Fi 1 capability with a total pumping capacity of 2400 m3/hr with optional foam. A retractable mast can bring one of the three monitors to a high point of attack for shipboard or dock fires. A range of auto functions is planned for firefighting, including dynamic positioning, water spray target holding, and ‘line protection’ where RALamander automatically moves back and forth along a line while directing protective spray cover on shore structures or vessels threatened by a fire. A low-profile design also makes it possible to attack under-wharf and marina fires remotely. If a burning vessel poses a threat to its surroundings, RALamander can be used to tow it a safe distance by means of its Grapnel Emergency Towing (GET) system.

RALamander’s versatility may also offer new ways to maintain and operate a port firefighting asset. Since RALamander can be operated from a safe stand-off distance during an incident, commercial entities such as tug or pilot boat operators may be in a better position to offer fire protection services to a port since personnel are less exposed to risks.

Drawing together Robert Allan Ltd.’s extensive fireboat design experience and Kongsberg Maritime’s world-leading expertise in control, communications and sensing in marine applications, RALamander 2000 represents a significant step-change and improvement in port firefighting capability and safety. With maximum flexibility built into the design from the start, the RALamander series will offer all the advantages of remotely-operated fire response in a customisable system to suit a port’s needs for capability and cost.

About Robert Allan Ltd.

Robert Allan Ltd. is a firm of internationally-recognized Naval Architects in Vancouver, Canada. Since 1930, it has built a reputation for innovative designs for vessels of almost all types, from high-performance tugs, to ferries to sophisticated research vessels. The company offers independent professional marine design and consulting services, supported by the latest in computer-aided design technology. It is strongly committed to ensuring that all vessels built to its designs offer the highest standards of safety and operational integrity for their Owners and for the crews that work on them.

Robert Allan Ltd has emerged as a leader in developing high-performance response vessels of many types, but particularly fireboats for many of the world’s major ports in both North America and in Asia.

About Kongsberg Maritime

Kongsberg Maritime is a global marine technology company providing innovative and reliable technology solutions for all marine industry sectors including merchant, offshore, subsea and naval. Headquartered in Kongsberg, Norway, the company has manufacturing, sales and service facilities in 20 countries.

Kongsberg Maritime systems for vessels cover all aspects of marine automation, safety, manoeuvring, navigation, and dynamic positioning. Subsea solutions include single and multibeam echo sounders, sonars, AUV/Underwater Robotics, underwater navigation, communication and camera systems.

Training courses at locations globally, LNG solutions, information management, position reference systems and technology for seismic and drilling operations are also part of the company’s diverse technology portfolio.

In parallel with its extensive technology portfolio, Kongsberg Maritime provides services within EIT (Electro, Instrument & Telecom) engineering and system integration, on an EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) basis.

Kongsberg Maritime delivers solutions that cover all aspects of technology underwater and on the water, aboard new build and retrofit vessels, and on offshore platforms and rigs, often under a single supplier strategy called The Full Picture.

Kongsberg Maritime is part of Kongsberg Gruppen (KONGSBERG), an international, knowledge-based group that celebrated 200 years in business during 2014. KONGSBERG supplies high-technology systems and solutions to customers in the oil and gas industry, the merchant marine, and the defence and aerospace industries. www.km.kongsberg.com

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.