The system integrates a latest generation remote operated vehicle (ROV) with a rescue capsule.
The ROV acts as a vector for navigation and control, while the capsule brings submariners back to the surface through a controlled habitat in total safety. The ROV and the capsule are mechanically and electronically tied, forming a single module connected to the vessel via an umbilical cable which contains power lines and optical fibers for power, communication and control.
The entire equipment can be divided into modules and transportable by air. Saipem will supply the ROV and all underwater automation units including the vehicle integrated into the capsule, while Drass will supply the decompression devices, hyperbaric elements, ventilation systems and medical gas treatment systems of the capsule.
The decision of the Italian Navy was reached after a technical evaluation conducted in 2019 during which Saipem and Drass also realized a demonstration prototype successfully tested in the Adriatic Sea.
The engineering and development of automation subsystems have been performed by the “Solutions” business line of Saipem’s Offshore E&C Division in its center of excellence specialized in subsea technologies located in Marghera (Venice).
Francesco Racheli, COO of Saipem Offshore E&C Division, commented: “The collaboration with an Italian entrepreneurial excellence such as Drass for an institution of absolute prestige such as Marina Militare Italiana fits fully into the strategic diversification plan which sees Saipem engaged not only in the energy transition and renewable sources, but also in the development of new strategic segments with high technological and innovation content. Saipem will continue to strengthen this relationship with Marina Militare Italiana by offering its entire portfolio of products for the inspection and surveillance of our seas."
Sergio Cappelletti, Managing Director of Drass stated: “The historic collaboration of Drass with Marina Militare Italiana is enriched with an exciting new chapter in which the synergy with Saipem brings a cutting-edge technological background deriving from industrial underwater robotics. The consolidation of dual technology in the field of Defense further enhances the extensive specialist heritage that characterizes Drass in the subsea sector. The step we take today is preparatory to larger projects, intended to create a national excellence in the field of underwater technology."