UK: James Fisher Defence Wins Contract to Undertake Comprehensive Modernisation of URF
James Fisher Defence (‘JFD’), a division of James Fisher and Sons plc, the UK’s leading marine services provider (‘FSJ’), has been selected to undertake a comprehensive modernisation of the Swedish Navy’s Rescue Vehicle known locally as URF under a contract worth around £11m. The contract further demonstrates JFD’s leadership of the global submarine rescue market.
JFD will undertake a full refit of the existing vehicle and design, build and integrate a series of new systems to maintain the vehicle’s performance, whilst optimising safety and operability. The upgrade work will be completed at JFD’s Glasgow facility and the modernised vehicle will be delivered back into service in March next year after which JFD will continue to work with the Swedish Navy to ensure its future availability. URF will bring to four the total number of rescue vehicles supported by JFD.
JFD will be assisted in this work by the Swedish Defence and Security company Saab. As a major subcontractor to JFD, Saab Underwater Systems will be responsible for the design and build of an integrated propulsion and control system for the vehicle.
The modernisation of URF will draw on JFD’s expertise in the design, build, support and operation of submarine rescue vehicles and systems and follows the delivery of two new DSAR (Deep Search and Rescue) class vehicles to the navies of Korea and Singapore in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Prior to this JFD operated and maintained the UK Submarine Rescue System undertaking two major refits to create the rescue submersible LR5 which is now in service in Perth, Western Australia as part of the James Fisher Submarine Rescue System. In 2005 a team from JFD saved the lives of seven Russian submariners trapped in the mini submarine Priz in 625 ft of water off the Kamchatka peninsular.
Commenting on the contract, Ben Sharples, JFD Managing Director, said:
“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, URF is strategically an important rescue asset and the award of this contract is testament to our specialist skills in this niche market. We look forward to working with the Swedish defence procurement authority FMV and the Swedish Navy to modernise and extend the life of URF.”
Source: James-Fisher, May 26, 2011; Image: Kockums