SEA-KIT International’s 12m X-class USV (unmanned surface vessel), developed for geo-data specialist Fugro, has been awarded the first ever Unmanned Marine Systems (UMS) certificate by Lloyd’s Register. SEA-KIT has worked closely with Lloyd’s Register for over a year to achieve the highest standards for the USV sector, culminating in this important milestone for the maritime industry.
The award represents a significant recognition by Lloyd’s Register for the wider maritime community. 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.
SEA-KIT has identified numerous applications for its USV technology in other marine sectors and recently ran a series of live capability demonstrations for maritime defence and security stakeholders from its base in Tollesbury, Essex, UK.
Paul James, Lloyd’s Register’s Naval Centre of Expertise Manager, commented: “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, CEO of SEA-KIT, 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.”
Ivar de Josselin de Jong, Global Director Remote Inspection at Fugro, stated: “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.”