Kongsberg wins South African survey vessel contract

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 26 February 2019


Norway-based Kongsberg Maritime, through its Cape Town-based business partner Unique Hydra, has been selected to deliver a cutting-edge integrated hydroacoustic and bridge system technology package for the replacement of the SA Navy Hydrographic Capability Project.

Kongsberg technology will be used on a state-of-the-art new hydrographic survey vessel being built by Southern African Shipyards (SAS) in Durban. Due for delivery in 2022, the new 95m long, 17.5m wide ship is billed as one of the most complex vessels to be built in South Africa and will replace the SAS Protea, which has been in service since 1972. Built to a VARD Canada ice-strengthened design, its top speed of 18kt, 10,000 nautical mile range and 44-day mission endurance will enable high quality mapping surveys throughout the southern hemisphere.

The 95-metre Hydrographic Survey Vessel is said to be the most complex vessel ever built in South Africa

Kongsberg Maritime will deliver a turnkey survey package for diverse environments to the new ship, including: EM 304 Deep Water Multibeam Echo Sounder, EM 2040 Shallow Water Multibeam Echo Sounder, TOPAS PS 40 Parametric Sub-Bottom Profiler, EA640 Single Beam Echo Sounder, K-Sync Synchronisation System, MDM 500 Marine Data Management System and Seapath 380-R3 Combined GNSS and Inertial Navigation System.Ensuring safe and efficient navigation and manoeuvring, as well as effective survey operations, the vessel will feature the K-Bridge Integrated Navigation System and K-Pos Dynamic Positioning.

Three survey motor boats will also be delivered, all of which will be built in Cape Town and benefit from Kongsberg hydroacoustic equipment on board, including: EM 2040 Shallow Water Multibeam Echo Sounder, EA440 Single Beam Echo Sounder and Seapath 130-R3 Combined GNSS and Inertial Navigation System.

“We are naturally delighted that the South African Navy has chosen Kongsberg Maritime as the main supplier of the hydrographic survey payload and integrated bridge system for their new vessels”, said Øystein Aasbø, Area Sales Manager, Kongsberg Maritime. “The delivery of the hydrographic survey vessel and her survey motor boats will significantly enhance the South African Navy’s survey capabilities both inside and outside of its territorial waters. These vessels will certainly be a game changer for them.”

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