SEA-KIT International recently revealed its new H-class uncrewed surface vessel (USV) for ocean survey, with a design that focuses on hydrography and environmental data collection.
The USV features a retractable gondola, dual sensor deployment options, and is highly configurable, according to a news release. Design updates were based on feedback from customers using the company’s established X-class USVs, with several of the 12m vessels currently operating in the Indian Ocean, North Sea, Red Sea and the Pacific.
The H-class has a composite hull for higher transit speeds, giving it greater range and endurance, as well as active stabilizers to minimize roll. The new design is available in 12m and 15m versions, with the 12m option transportable in a standard shipping container for fast, low-cost deployment. Both can be davit launched.
The USV can carry various sensors as well as deploy a tow cage, SVP, MAPR, CTD and side scan sonar for deep-water and nearshore bathymetric and hydrographic survey missions. It has a Multibeam Echo Sounder (MBES), station holding and winch-deployed sensor payloads for ocean survey.
The vessel is designed to MCA Category 0 for extended, over-the-horizon capability and will hold Unmanned Marine Systems (UMS) certification from Lloyd’s Register as well as Lloyd’s Register approval for design and hull construction.
“Although many of the H-class USV’s features directly benefit hydrographic survey missions, this is a design that can perform many different tasks due to its large gondola and ability to dip cages and tow sensors,” SEA-KIT CEO Ben Simpson said, according to the release. “The fuel-saving, speed and endurance benefits of the composite hull add to the value of these USVs as low-carbon, cost-efficient solutions for a wide range of maritime operations. This design is the next step toward our goal of zero emission vessels.”