On 1 November Kongsberg of Norway announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK’s Automated Ships Ltd to build the world’s first unmanned and fully-automated vessel for offshore operations. It is understood that in January 2017, Automated Ships Ltd will contract the vessel Hrönn, which will be designed and built in Norway in cooperation with Kongsberg.
Sea trials will take place in Norway’s newly designated automated vessel test bed in Trondheim fjord and will be conducted under the auspices of DNV GL and the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA). Hrönn will ultimately be classed and flagged, respectively it is reported.
Furthermore, Kongsberg will deliver all major marine equipment necessary for the design, construction and operation of Hrönn. This will include systems for dynamic positioning and navigation, satellite and position reference, marine automation and communication. All the vessel’s control systems including dynamic positioning, automation and ECDIS will be replicated at an Onshore Control Centre, allowing full remote operations of Hrönn.