Photo: Marine robotic vessel for Ocean Infinity (Courtesy of VARD Group)

Palfinger to provide equipment for new robotic vessels in Armada fleet

Norway-based designer and shipbuilder VARD has selected Austrian manufacturer of hydraulic systems Palfinger to supply equipment for Ocean Infinity’s eight new robotic vessels in Armada fleet.

Image showing marine robotic vessel for Ocean Infinity (Courtesy of VARD Group)
Marine robotic vessel for Ocean Infinity (Courtesy of VARD Group)

In 2022, the series of eight vessels will expand the newly launched Ocean Infinity’s Armada fleet to a total of 17 robotic vessels.

The new vessels will be designed and built by VARD, who has selected Palfinder to provide these vessels with rescue boats and davits as well as with tailor-made winches for anchoring and mooring operations.

It is the first time in Palfinger’s history to be part of a robotic vessel project as such, according to the company.

Specifically designed to operate as multi-role vessels, the additional vessels will support Ocean Infinity’s global operations from their control centers.

With a length of 78 and a width of 15 metres, the vessels will be the first of their kind and represent a giant leap forward for the maritime industry, according to Palfinger.

The new robotic vessels will be built at VARD’s shipyard Vard Vung Tau in Vietnam, and their delivery is due in the period from mid-2022 to end-2023, according to Palfinger.

Gunther Fleck, vice president sales and service region marine at Palfinger, said: “We have been working closely with VARD Group for a long time to develop tailor-made anchor winches. These meet all necessary requirements – specifically for autonomous and remote operations – and we are proud that our technology and solutions were selected for these innovative vessels”.

The U.S. company Ocean Infinity has been operating their robotic fleet Infinity to gather and analyze data from the world’s oceans.

While Infinity consists of autonomous underwater vehicles, a second fleet named Armada is set to become operational in 2021 with robotic vessels operating on the water’s surface.

To remind, Ocean Infinity selected Norwegian firm Grovfjord Mek. Verksted (GMV) to build the initial Armada fleet of 13 ultra-low emission robotic vessels.

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Each robotic vessel can carry ROVs and AUVs, as well as a variety of other sensors or equipment.

In December 2020, Ocean Infinity selected Sonardyne to provide the Armada fleet with key sensor technologies for underwater platform navigation, tracking, control and communications, as well as ensuring uninterrupted surface navigation.