Two new Submarine Rescue Vehicles (SRV) built by James Fisher Defence for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) have entered operation in 2009 with extensive camera and sonar packages supplied by Kongsberg Maritime Ltd.
The SRVs, designated DSAR (Deep Search and Rescue), have been developed from the ground-up, using experience gained by James Fisher Defence during decades of support for the UK Submarine Rescue Service's LR5 SRV. Both feature a number of enhancements over existing SRV technology including the ability to operate at a depth of 500m, where visibility is poor so high quality imaging equipment is vital for a safe rescue operation.
"The importance of high quality, reliable imaging systems cannot be overstated during a submarine rescue," comments Ben Sharples, Underwater Projects Director, James Fisher Defence. "The rescue teams rely on the cameras and sonars to ensure safe operations under very stressful conditions, so they should provide a high standard of imagery in addition to being up to the job of operating in extreme conditions. Kongsberg Maritime was able to provide a cost-effective package that met these requirements."
DSAR-5, which was officially named ROKS DSRV II in September 2008 features OE15-103 Low Light CCD and OE14-367 Colour Zoom cameras in addition to the OE10-101 Pan & Tilt unit. It also features a powerful Kongsberg Mesotech Sonar System with the MS1000 Sonar Processor c/w remote keypad, High Resolution (330 kHz) Sonar Head, 1007 Series Altimeter.
DSAR-6 will, uniquely, be operated over a 20 year period on behalf of the RSN by James Fisher Defence and its partner ST Marine through a joint venture called First Response Marine Pte Ltd (FRM). It features similar Sonar System configuration to DSAR-5 but utilises OE15-102 Low Light CCD and OE14-366 Colour Zoom cameras.
"We have extensive experience in providing instrument packages for submarine rescue vehicles, having played a significant role in the provision of imaging products to the NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS) for the French, Norwegian and UK Navies," says Colin Jaffray, UK Sales Manager (Imaging Products), Kongsberg Maritime Ltd. "We're confident that our cameras, sonar and other equipment supplied for the DSAR vehicles will prove themselves during training and routine operations, and indeed, during live submarine rescues should such an unfortunate event occur."