Share this article Back to overview,Home naval-today Royal Navy to Protect UK Marine Conservation Areas The Royal Navy has adopted a new approach to minimising its impact on the environment that could become a blueprint for other Naval services.It has produced Environmental Protection Guidelines (Maritime) (EPG(M)), an interactive military layer of electronic charting which provides advice on the suitability of military activities in the vicinity of designated marine protected areas across the UK’s marine area.By following these guidelines, ship planners and operators can be confident that their actions and exercises minimise the risks to the environment and are not contravening legal restrictions.The EPG(M) has been developed over three years in consultation with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) on behalf of the UK statutory nature conservation bodies (SNCBs1). The process used to develop the EPG(M) has been endorsed by the SNCBs.The EPG(M) provides details for consideration across all activities undertaken by the Royal Navy near marine protected areas, and covers activities taking place in the air, on land, at sea or underwater. The Navy has signed a Statement of Intent committing itself to the new guidelines.Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Capability) Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, said:“The marine environment faces an array of increasing pressures and expanding legal protection aims to safeguard certain species and areas.“The Royal Navy is not exempt from this legislation and our planners, ships, staff and aircrew face a growing range of environmental considerations, not only during training but also when on operations.“EPG(M) works within our electronic charting system to offer clear and interactive guidance to our people when planning so that they can continue to deliver the UK’s maritime defence priorities safely.“I believe that this is a real advance and further tangible evidence of the effort being expended by the RN to protect the environment and minimise our ecological impact.”It is thought that the EPG(M) is the first of its kind among Naval forces. Currently the EPG(M) offers guidance for the UK marine area only, but work is underway to expand the tool to cover the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, and EU waters.JNCC has praised the actions of the Royal Navy in this initiative to improve the protection it provides for the marine environment.Dr John Goold, JNCC Marine Director, said:“The Royal Navy has taken a proactive and innovative approach to minimising the potential environmental impact of its marine activities.“The UK statutory nature bodies strongly welcome and support this positive approach and the Navy’s continued consideration of the marine environment.“I believe the Royal Navy can be confident that it is moving in the right direction and we are pleased to co-sign this Statement of Intent on behalf of the UK statutory nature conservation bodies.”The Statement of Intent lays out how the tools will be used, maintained and reviewed so the Royal Navy and the SNCBs can continue to work together to maintain the effectiveness of the EPG(M) in future.[mappress]Press Release, December 12, 2013; Image: Royal Navy December 12, 2013 Training & Education Royal Navy to Protect UK Marine Conservation Areas
As informed, ECA Group will deliver seventeen INSPECTOR 125 USVs from 2023. The main innovation of the USV INSPECTOR 125 is its ability to execute mine countermeasures missions with a high level of autonomy at a stand-off distance of up to 18 nautical miles from a mothership. The INSPECTOR 125 is designed to integrate different payloads depending on the mission to be performed. Changing from one configuration to another takes less than 6 hours. The drone will be able to accommodate either the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and its LARS in “taxi mode”, or the towed sonar, or mine identification and disposal system (MIDS), or divers and protection units. The platform is derived from the V2 New Generation rescue boats that have been in service within the French National Society of Sea Rescue (SNSM) for about ten years. ECA Group further said the INSPECTOR 125 USV is equipped with a “sea proven” anti-roll system, which reduces roll by 40%. Thanks to this mechanism, the USV is operational up to sea state 4 and ensures the launching and recovery of the underwater vehicles – AUV, towed sonar, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) — by high sea states. Designed by ECA Group’s naval architecture company MAURIC, the USV has a low magnetic and acoustic signature to prevent mine triggering, and its unsinkability keeps it afloat in the event of mine explosions, according to ECA Group. French ECA Group has been selected to supply its INSPECTOR 125-class unmanned surface vehicle (USV) to the Belgian and Royal Netherlands navies as part of their mine countermeasures vessels (MCMV) program. Photo: ECA Group View post tag: usv Belgian-Dutch MCMV program Share this article View post tag: ECA Group Photo: ECA Group The newbuilds will be equipped with a complete drone module containing a total of more than eighty underwater, surface and aerial drones entirely dedicated to mine hunting. The first unit is scheduled for delivery to the Belgian Navy in 2024. The INSPECTOR 125 platform has a length 12,3 meters and is equipped with two engines and two waterjets allowing it to reach 25 knots. It has an endurance of 48 hours by sea state up to 4. View post tag: INSPECTOR 125 The contract for twelve MCMV for the Belgian and Royal Dutch navies was awarded in May 2019 and will span over more than ten years. Belgium Naval & Robotics (BNR) — Naval Group / ECA Group consortium — are leading the production phase, which will be executed by Kership.