February 3, 2004
Abeking & Rasmussen launches SWATH minehunter
Abeking & Rasmussen shipyard in Lemwerder, Germany, recently launched a 25 m SWATH@A&R® vessel.
The "Explorer" will be used as a demonstrator vessel for the further development of the "Minehunting 2000" remote controlled minehunting system.
The contract for developing this system was awarded in 2002 to a consortium consisting of Abeking & Rasmussen, Atlas Elektronik, EADS and Lürssen.
This latest Abeking & Rasmusssen SWATH is based very closely on the company's proven 25m SWATH pilot vessels, which have been in operation in the North Sea since 1999.
Keel laying of the new SWATH was on March 21st last year. The vessel will be handed over to BWB, the German armed forces procurement agency, in May.
The short building period has been made possible possible due to the close similarities with the existing vessels and with a third 25 m SWATH pilot tender that has been built almost in parallel and which is now in the outfitting phase.
The design of the pilot vessels has been adapted slightly to accommodate all the necessary sonar equipment and handling gear for extensive operational testing beginning later this year.
During these trials the SWATH vessel will have to prove its seakeeping capabilities, especially during launching and recovery of sensitive towed sonar equipment. After final outfitting and harbour and sea acceptance trials, the SWATH vessel will be used by Abeking & Rasmussen for further application trials during March.
Final outfitting of Navy and Sonar equipment will be done in April. In May, when the vessel is handed over to the BWB, it will become the first SWATH vessel to fly the German naval ensign.