Sea-Air-Space 2021: P-42 Meets the US Market
One of the pleasures of attending defence conferences is the opportunity to gain insights into new offerings for the sector. Such was the outcome when MON learned about Hydrolift’s introduction of its P-42 modular vessel design to the US market.
Hydrolift, a Norwegian subsidiary of Eker Group, delivered the first vessel of this new family to the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue in 2016. The society basically wanted a ‘clean sheet design,’ – a vessel that did not exist for this use case, according to Jon Andre Garberg, Eker’s VP of Defence and Homeland Security. “They had very high expectations for this new vessel – operating in the harsh conditions of north Norway’s winter, as well as occasionally off of south Norway in summer. And they wanted it to survive the extraordinary 7G shock to crew members, due to these weather conditions,” he explained, also calling attention to the P-42’s modularity, another launch customer requirement. The P-42’s rated speed, in excess of 45kts, is achieved, in part, by Rolls Royce waterjets and associated machinery.
A companion vessel also exists – the P-27 – “which is based on many of the P-42’s concepts, and is basically a scaled-down version. It can achieve in excess of 70kts. and can carry a crew of eight,” Garberg stated. A militarised version also features shock absorption capabilities. Each vessel is designed and manufactured entirely within Eker Group, with a comprehensive supply chain providing onboard systems.
Hydrolift is at SAS, in part, to confirm and arrange test and demonstration schedules with the US defence and security markets, including those with US-based partner Strategos Group, whose portfolio includes training US Navy SEALS, Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Underwater Construction Team forces. Based on the emerging interest in the US SOF market, Hydrolift is developing a P-42 variant with three 600hp outboard engines, which is close to being ready for on-water testing and evaluation.
“[The] US market is our top priority,” Garberg revealed, confirming that the company’s defence competence continues to evolve through its partnership with Kongsberg. Further, the firm’s homeland security portfolio has expanded with a recent contract with the government of Malta for a fireboat. “To be delivered this spring , it will be the world’s fastest fireboat.”
Marty Kauchak reporting from National Harbor, MD for MON