FBM Babcock Marine has been awarded an order for six 86-ft. aircrew training vessels by SMIT International (Scotland) Ltd. The order follows the U.K. MOD award of a contract following competition under the Public Private Partnership Program to SMIT International for the provision of aircrew training and firing range safety services. The FBM Babcock Marine vessels will be used by SMIT International to train military aircrew in marine survival techniques and be delivered within 16 months. The vessels will be funded by way of a structured lease with Lombard Corporate Finance, a member of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc.
The vessels are an adaptation of FBM Babcock Marine's 86-ft. patrol vessel
, with accommodation and layout modifications to fulfill SMIT International's operational requirements. The design includes an aft docking well for a RIB or for torpedo recovery, a full width stern training platform and clear deck areas for helicopter winching drills.
Additional removable equipment profiles will be supplied to allow the simulation of a variety of typical helicopter winching conditions.
The vessels are of aluminum construction, powered by twin engines to propellers and an additional center-line engine to waterjet. The addition of the waterjet allows the vessels to operate economically at slow speed for long periods of time, whilst also providing outstanding maneuverability. Accommodation is provided for six crewmembers.
To construction will be split between Babcock BES's Rosyth dockyard and the FBMA Babcock Marine yard in the Philippines. Design and project management is being undertaken from FBM Babcock Marine
's Southampton Head Office.