Meercat to Supply Dive Support Vessel to BAE Systems

UK based boatbuilder Meercat Workboats has won a new order from global defence, aerospace and security company BAE Systems for a bespoke 15m dive support vessel.

The company plans to complete the boat by the end of May.

It will be used in Portsmouth Dockyard for subsea maintenance, repairs and inspections on Royal Naval vessels and installations, including maintenance support to waterfront jetties, the Type 45 Destroyers and the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers when they arrive in Portsmouth in 2017.

The new workboat will include a twin Doosan L136Ti engine with a 33Kva generator and a three-phase compressor.

Its AMCO-VEBA crane is capable of lifting 790kg at 14.1 metres, whilst its full hydraulic hand tool capability is provided by a separate JCB hydraulic engine, the company explained.

With a fully integrated Dive X high pressure diving system, the vessel will have full communications capabilities and video compatibility.

This dive support vessel will be the second to be delivered by Meercat after it was bought by Britain’s Burgess Marine in September 2014. It will be the 23rd vessel built by Meercat since it was formed in 2006.

James Lewis, Operations Director at Meercat Workboats, said: “The design brief called for a manoeuvrable vessel, with a wheel-house, messroom, designated dive room, and a crane.

“It will primarily support BAE Systems’ diving teams for duties connected with Royal Navy vessels and port installations in the naval dockyard.

“We are making swift progress on the dive support vessel and expect to finish on schedule and on budget.

“We are pleased to be working with such prominent and well-respected company as BAE Systems.

“This order is one of our most significant in recent times as we continue to grow as a leading supplier of workboats, especially in the dive, ports, harbours and aquaculture markets.”

Derren Chamberlain, BAE Systems Maritime Services Supply Chain Director, said: “As a company, we are committed to working with local companies, many of whom are Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

“This order with Meercat is a welcome demonstration of how we can utilise first class services in the Portsmouth area and also support the marine-related local economy.”

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

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