Babcock Marine has been awarded an order for six 27 metre Aircrew Training Vessels by SMIT International (Scotland). The vessels will be used by SMIT International to train military aircrew in marine survival techniques and be delivered within 16 months. The vessels are an adaptation of FBM Babcock Marine's 27 metre patrol vessel, with accommodation and layout modifications. The design includes an aft docking well for a RIB or for torpedo recovery, a full width stern training platform and clear deck areas for helicopter winching drills.
Additional removable equipment profiles will be supplied to allow the simulation of a variety of typical helicopter winching conditions.
The vessels are of aluminium construction, powered by twin engines to propellers and an additional centre-line engine to waterjet. The addition of the waterjet allows the vessels to operate economically at slow speed for long periods of time, whilst also providing outstanding manoeuvrability. Accommodation is provided for six crew. To meet the demanding delivery schedule, construction will be split between Babcock BES's Rosyth dockyard and the FBMA Babcock Marine yard in the Philippines. Design and project management is being undertaken from FBM Babcock Marine's Southampton Head Office.