New design for family of fleet support ships meets IMO regulations
Named Aegir after the Norse god of the sea, the family of Auxiliary Oiler (AO) and Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) designs is based on a proven twin-skeg commercial hullform from Skipskonsulent AS, combined with a flexible and capable naval auxiliary general arrangement developed by BMT. Together they offer navies worldwide the opportunity to acquire a new-built, purpose-designed and environmentally responsible AO for a similar outlay to that needed to buy and convert a commercial double-hull tanker.
Purchasing a commercial double-hull tanker can be expensive and its conversion to a naval auxiliary requires extensive modification to the original design in order to reconcile significant differences in their operating profiles and accommodate additional crew, equipment and capabilities associated with replenishment at sea (RAS) activities. A mature, low-risk design such as Aegir helps clients reduce the financial and technical risks associated with procuring future RAS capabilities.
The baseline Aegir design promises a highly capable, purpose-built naval auxiliary and is available in three sizes: 10,000, 18,000 and 26,000 deadweight tonnes (dwt). A further design for an AOR is offered based on the 18,000dwt hull. The design is scalable and thus the design team is able to meet any tonnage requirement expressed by a client.
Furthermore, the design can be customised. Additional features that a customer can request include: close-in weapon systems; military communication systems; diesel electric propulsion; an aviation maintenance facility; dual-purpose tanks, permitting carriage of AVCAT and/or Dieso; NBC protection; and a deep magazine.
Building AOs to an Aegir design offers an attractive alternative to tanker conversion to any navy wanting to conduct RAS operations in a manner compliant with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) environmental regulations.
While navies do not have to comply with these regulations, it is likely many will do so, seeing it as a way of demonstrating good stewardship of the marine environment. This will create a buoyant market for double-hull AOs to replace existing single-hull vessels.
The twin-screw, twin-skeg hullform selected for Aegir ensures the easy adoption of standard naval auxiliary operating procedures, covering operations over extended periods at task force speeds, 18 knots and also flexible and economic running when operating independently.
Aegir also helps navies increase the involvement of their national industrial base. As the Aegir design has been developed in accordance with commercial design rules, local shipyards should be fully capable of building and maintaining naval support vessels to the Aegir design.
Dr Andrew Tyler, Chief Executive of BMT Defence, comments: "We believe we have brought together two truly independent expert companies, market leaders in their own fields of naval and marine ship-design, to offer procurement agencies an outstanding family of practical and affordable naval support ship designs that shipyards in their own countries will be able to build and support. Licensing the Aegir design will give navies a low-risk route to acquiring a fully functional and environmentally responsible underway replenishment capability that complies with IMO regulations."