in Defence / Security / Events

UK Trade Envoy Lord Ian Botham OBE visits JFD Australia

Posted 1 July 2022

JFD Australia recently welcomed the UK’s Trade Envoy to Australia, Lord Ian Botham OBE, to its national headquarters in Perth to see its submarine rescue system.

Image courtesy JFD / Photo credits - Trevor Collens

In a visit coordinated by the British High Commission, Lord Botham examined all aspects of the world class sovereign capability including getting inside the submarine rescue vehicle (a 'mini' submarine) for a first-hand look at the technology used to transfer the crew of a disabled submarine safely under pressure to the ocean’s surface.

The free-swimming, piloted rescue vehicle is part of a fully integrated system that includes a state-of-the-art hyperbaric equipment suite that can provide life-saving medical treatment to submariners (the entire crew of a Collins-class submarine -up to 60 personnel -can be treated simultaneously).

It is one of only six air transportable rescue systems around the world, five of which are supported by JFD, including the NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS) which has been successfully delivered to the Royal Navy since 2015.

“It was a privilege to host Lord Botham and to talk with him about the service we have provided to the Royal Australian Navy for the past 15 years and the many ways in which Australia and the UK can work together in the future to keep the world’s submariners safe, wherever they may be,” said Ms Cathy Falkiner, Managing Director, JFD Australia.

Accompanied by a delegation that included British Consul-General and Deputy Trade Commissioner Asia-Pacific, Ms Louise Cantillon, and senior members of the UK Department for International Trade, Lord Botham also toured JFD’s advanced production facility, meeting JFD’s highly skilled team and inspecting specialised diving and rebreathing equipment that JFD produces to keep defence personnel safe underwater.
“JFD holds contracts with some 80 nations and 30 navies and safety will always be our highest priority,” said Ms Falkiner.

“To be able to demonstrate this commitment to Lord Botham and his delegation was a real honour and we look forward to welcoming him again in the future.”

JFD is an underwater capability provider, serving the commercial and defence markets with innovative diving, submarine and hyperbaric rescue, technical solutions and services. Operating worldwide, the company is the world’s leading provider of submarine rescue capability and an established provider of submarine escape training.  The company is at the forefront of Hyperbaric Rescue, along with being the leading supplier of commercial and defence diving equipment and saturation diving systems to the commercial industry.

JFD was created in 2014 through the merger of James Fisher Defence and Divex. In 2015 JFD acquired the National Hyperbaric Centre to further boost the services offered to its customers. In 2016 LEXMAR was acquired to enhance the capability and offering within JFD’s diving capability and suite of saturation diving systems. JFD acquired diving and recompression specialist Cowan Manufacturing in February 2018. In August 2019 JFD added to its portfolio with the acquisition of Ortega Submersibles BV, the Netherlands-based submersible boat designer and manufacturer. Ansti Test Systems Ltd was acquired in January 2020, providing JFD with the capability to design and manufacture test facilities for performance measurement of underwater / surface breathing apparatus. In March 2020, JFD acquired Fathom Systems, a leading provider of diver communications, gas analysis, diver monitoring and integrated diving control systems for Diving Support Vessels (DSVs).

JFD is part of Barrow-in-Furness based James Fisher and Sons plc, which is a provider of specialised services to the marine, oil and gas and other high assurance industries worldwide.

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