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Zyvex Marine has launched the LRV-17, a Long Range Vessel designed for fuel efficiency and rough sea stabilisation with a sprint speed over 40 knots and a range of over 1,500 nautical miles, more than three times the range of comparatively sized vessels.
According to Zyvex, Global Maritime Security Solutions (GMSS) will deploy the vessels for maritime security, including piracy protection, off the coast of Africa and surrounding areas. The LRV-17 is built from Arovex, a carbon fibre nano-composite system (carbon fibre reinforced plastic enhanced with carbon nanotubes or CFRP-CNT) that reduces structural weight, allowing for more efficient fuel usage and increased range. Zyvex explains that this is the first time nano-composites have been used as the primary material for a manned vessel.
The LRV-17 is modelled after the Piranha Unmanned Surface Vessel, which Zyvex says debuted in 2010 and received global attention and established Zyvex as a pioneer of nano-composite marine manufacturing. The vessel now joins several technology applications using Arovex.
“As the first molecular nanotechnology engineering company in the marine industry, we are proud to launch a manned vessel platform after successfully proving the unmanned platform and then introducing the industry’s lightest and most durable doors, hatches, and other marine closures. These applications of nano-composites are advancing commercial and defence partners’ capabilities when it comes to safety and efficiency,” said Byron Nutley, Vice President of Zyvex Technologies and General Manager of Zyvex Marine.
The 17-meter (57-foot) vessel’s deep-V hull is designed for fuel efficiency and uses an active gyroscope stabiliser for improved sea handling and decreased human fatigue factors. It is fully deployable with only two operators and can be equipped with an additional four shock-mitigating seats for support personnel, allowing six crew to remain at sea for over five days. Zyvex Marine says it performed primary design and engineering, with secondary engineering, installation, and test analysis being performed by partners Pacific Coast Marine, S3 Maritime, Eltech Electric, Seakeeper, and Donald L. Blount and Associates.
GMSS plans to launch a Merchant Vessel Convoy Escort Program by deploying security teams to operate two LRV-17s to protect ships en route. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, there were 439 worldwide piracy attacks in 2011. One report estimated the piracy impact on the global economy to be $7 billion for 2011, the most detailed estimate to date.
“The new LRV-17 boats are game changers in maritime security missions because they are the only vessels capable of long range escort and high speeds to deal with multiple pirate threats. They need only small security teams to effectively operate,” said Rhynhardt Berrange, Managing Director of GMSS. “These attributes create a cost-effective platform to ensure maritime security. The visible presence of the new vessels is expected to deter and help prevent piracy attempts and attacks.”
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