Summer / Autumn 2021

Subsea rescue triple build

JFD has been working hard throughout the worldwide pandemic to meet unprecedented demand for its advanced submarine rescue vehicles (SRVs) and the team is currently building three simultaneously at its Glasgow headquarters.  

The SRVs, which are based on JFD’s advanced third generation SRV design, are being custom built for navies in the Far East. They are set for delivery later this year and early 2022 and will join the fleet of five other JFD SRVs currently in operation worldwide. 

In recent years, demand for JFD SRVs has escalated. This is partly due to JFD’s pedigree in submarine rescue, which includes operating five of the world’s submarine rescue systems, and working with 33 of the world’s navies which has given the team a growing reputation for excellence and submariner safety. But also, navies around the world are increasingly responding to highly publicised submarine incidents with requests for independent and upgraded rescue capabilities of their own.  

As the international demand for submarines increases so does the need for international rescue cover, and by early 2022 JFD will have delivered five submarine rescue systems in less than five years.  

Richard Devlin, JFD commercial director, says:

‘Internationally, we are relied upon to deliver market leading submarine rescue equipment on time and without compromise.’ 

‘Our global pedigree, together with our detailed knowledge, experience, and understanding of delivering such complex programmes has allowed us to successfully navigate the challenges faced by all industries during the pandemic,’ says Richard. 

This is the first time a build of multiple SRVs has occurred concurrently. ‘No other manufacturer has faced the requirement or created the capability to build three SRVs at the same time, let alone during a global pandemic. What the team has achieved is nothing short of amazing,’ he adds. 

JFD’s proven approach to manufacturing, testing and deployment on time ensures that JFD remains the only credible partner of choice for the international naval community. 

This combination of factors resulted in JFD being awarded contracts to build three new SRVs simultaneously. Logistical challenges of scaling up production (each SRV is capable of rescuing up to 17 submariners) were amplified by inevitable staffing and supply issues presented by the global pandemic, but the builds remain on schedule thanks to the team's resilience. The team has been working very closely with JFD’s trusted supply chain to ensure that all parts required for the builds are delivered on time and to optimal standards. 

Testing for the new SRVs has been going ahead at JFD’s specialist facility, the National Hyperbaric Centre in Aberdeen, and further in-water harbour acceptance trials both locally in Glasgow and on location at JFD’s test site at Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. 

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