Navico has secured type approval for its SIMRAD® MARIS ECDIS900 Mk 5 and Mk 15 electronic chart data information systems (ECDIS) by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping. The IMO type-approved navigation systems are designed for use on board merchant vessels which must meet mandatory compliance deadlines as set out in the International Maritime Organization’s SOLAS Convention regulations, as amended. “This is a big step for Simrad-branded ECDIS after a thorough type-approval process initiated in 2014,” says Nicolas Queru, VP Commercial Marine Division for EMEA, Navico. “It follows up on RMRS approvals granted last year for a suite of Navico/SIMRAD equipment, ranging from heading and position GLONASS systems, autopilots, gyrocompasses, electronic chart plotters, instruments, and radar/navigation systems that include the state-of-the-art Broadband 4G. ECDIS is becoming mandatory for a growing percentage of the world’s commercial shipping fleet, so this approval is as timely as it is welcome.” Under the IMO’s Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS), ECDIS with suitable back-up systems have been required on new passenger vessels of 500 gross tons (gt) upwards and new tankers of 3,000gt and over from July 1, 2012, with rules covering other vessel types phased in to July 1, 2018. Between now and mid-2018, existing cargo ships other than tankers of more than 50,000 gt constructed before July 1, 2013 must have approved systems installed not later than the first survey after July 1, 2016; existing cargo ships other than tankers of between 20,000 gt and 50,000 gt built before July 1, 2013, not later than the first survey after July 1, 2017; and existing cargo ships of between 10,000 gt and 20,000 gt not later than the first survey after July 1, 2018. The approval of the latest SIMRAD® MARIS900 Mk 5 and Mk 15 opens up extensive opportunities for the most recently developed Simrad ECDIS products in Russia and beyond, where the Russian class organization had formerly granted approval for the earlier generation MARIS900 Mk 4. “We have committed significant resources to ECDIS development,” says Mr Queru. “SIMRAD® MARIS ECDIS900 units and software have been developed for their ease of use, with a standard Windows PC interface. They facilitate advanced route planning and optimisation tools with special-purpose modules including search-and-rescue planning.” In addition to being a commercial hub for Navico and its Simrad-branded products within the region, St Petersburg represents a centre of excellence for software research and development for the wider Navico group, Mr Queru says. The Mk5 system comes with a 24- or 26-inch flat panel monitor and standard PC. The Mk 15 has a 24-inch flat panel display and an integrated PC.