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SEA-KIT secures UMS certification for Fugro Blue Essence

Essex based Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) designer and builder, SEA-KIT International, has been awarded an Unmanned Marine Systems (UMS) certificate by Lloyd’s Register (LR), for its latest 12 metre SEA-KIT X-Class USV, Fugro Blue Essence.

Above: SEA-KIT USV undergoing trials at Orwell Bridge in Ipswich, Suffolk, UK.
Courtesy SEA-KIT Int.

SEA-KIT has worked closely with LR to achieve the highest standards for the USV sector. In 2021, SEA-KIT International was awarded the first ever Unmanned Marine Systems (UMS) certificate by LR, which represented a key milestone for the maritime industry. The company’s latest 12 metre SEA-KIT X-Class USV, Fugro Blue Essence, was recently also awarded LR UMS certification, marking the company’s 5th certificate and the first LR UMS certificate for a Category 0 certified vessel.

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Mathew Palmer, LR Global Naval Business Lead – Submarines and Uncrewed Systems commented: “Lloyd’s Register is delighted to award UMS certification to this SEA-KIT X-Class Fugro Blue Essence. The USV’s state-of-the-art design and capabilities demonstrate the future of marine technology, and this certification underscores the vessel's readiness for remote operation in challenging maritime environments.”

Category 0 approval, the highest level of approval for workboats, was awarded to the vessel by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency in January 2024. It is now the largest Cat 0 certified USV to operate fully remotely and with unrestricted service to support marine projects further offshore while enhancing safety and environmental performance.

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Doug Graham, SEA-KIT MD, said: “We continue to push boundaries with the design and construction of our USVs. Certification is essential for the industry to provide a safety assurance framework and it is testament to the team’s hard work that SEA-KIT now holds the most UMS certificates awarded to any company. We will strive to maintain this leadership stance and our long-standing relationship with Lloyd’s Register, so that we can continue to support the sector in achieving ambitious net zero targets.”

SEA-KIT USVs are at work on commercial projects around the world. The company has several vessels in build and on order, including the next-generation, 18 metre, SEA-KIT XL-Class USV, which will also be certified against LR’s UMS Code. The vessel is currently preparing to start sea trials in Ipswich.

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