Beijing, Oct.11 (China Military News cited from Underwater Centre) — The world’s most advanced rescue submarine which has been commissioned by the Chinese Navy is undergoing final trials at The Underwater Centre in Fort William.
The Underwater Centre’s unique environment means that it is able to offer highly realistic and industry relevant conditions for testing diving and submersible equipment.
The Centre is based on the shores of Loch Linnhe where water depths plummet to 150 meters, which is deeper than most parts of the North Sea. Located at the foot of Ben Nevis, its sheltered position means testing can be carried out 12 months of the year even in the most extreme weather conditions.
Steve Ham of The Underwater Centre says that the trial of the rescue submarine is a highly significant and prestigious contract. “Our Centre offers unique testing conditions second to none across the world,” he said. “We also have a team of instructors which comprise some of the world’s most experienced divers and ROV pilots.’
“We are delighted that we have been chosen to get involved with the testing of the LR7 as it is currently the world’s most advanced submarine rescue vehicle.’’
“We have been working in partnership with Perry Slingsby Systems and our aim is to provide a good training environment to meet the needs of PSS to ensure that the trials are as productive and easy as possible.’’
The multimillion pound LR7, the next generation of deep submergence rescue vessel, has been designed and developed by Perry Slingsby Systems (PSS), part of the Aberdeen-based Triton Group. This will put the Chinese Navy at the forefront of sub sea search and rescue worldwide.
Capable of operating in depths of more than 300 metres, the 25 ft long state-of-the-art submarine is the largest in the world and can transport up to 18 personnel rescued from stricken vessels.
Once this part of the trial process is complete, the vessel will simulate a rescue. The final phase of the trials, which are expected to last three weeks, will include pilot training.
PSS is the world’s leading supplier of deepwater remotely operated vehicles and tooling solutions to the oil and gas and military industries. Kevin Taylor, PSS general manager said: “We worked closely with the Chinese Navy to develop the LR7 which uses the very latest technology and equipment.
After the trial is complete, the LR7 will return to PSS for further checks and the fitting of ancillary equipment before being delivered to China for sea trials.