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June 4, 2004

VTMD to stabilize Skjolds

Ride control specialist VT Maritime Dynamics, Inc. (VTMD), has won the contract to supply the stabilization systems for the advanced Skjold-Class fast patrol boats being built for the Royal Norwegian Navy.

The Lexington, Md, based company supplied and fitted the ride control system (RCS) for the first-of-class vessel that spent four years undergoing evaluation. Following the success of this initial craft, a further five Skjold-Class surface effect ships (SES) will be built by Umoe Mandal in Norway.

They will all be fitted with VTMD ride control and stern fan systems, while the initial vessel will be refitted extensively. The 47-meter boats are built for high speed and maneuverability, with a maximum speed of more than 100 kilometers an hour.

Main propulsion is by waterjet driven gas turbine engines and the ships' low draft means they will be able to operate effectively in shallow coastal waters. They are also designed for stealth and will have a comprehensive weapons fit.

Surface effect ships operate on an air cushion that carries the main part of the vessel's weight. Because of the high-speed requirement, the Skjold-Class will carry no underwater appendages as most ride control systems would include.

The solution is an RCS that monitors and regulates the pressure of the air cushion by controlling vent valves, which reduce accelerations and mitigate crew fatigue.

The stern fan system controls the stern seal pressure. During high speed operation incorrect pressure in the stern seal can result in instability that can decrease vessel performance.

VTMD's scope of supply includes the RCS controller, vent valves, stern boot fans and hydraulic actuation mechanisms.

VTMD General Manager Joe Kubinec commented: "The Skjold-Class takes our technology in providing ride control for surface effect ships a further step forward. We have established ourselves as a market leader in providing these systems for SES designs."

VT Maritime Dynamics (VTMD) is the former Maritime Dynamics, Inc. (MDI). It is now a part of the VT Group (the VT coming from Vosper Thorneycroft), which employs over 10,000 people and has its Headquarters in Southampton, U.K.

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