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MRV-80 Multi-Role Vessel

Austal is capable of delivering a range of naval vessels to meet requirements including search and rescue, border protection, surveillance and troop transport. The Austal Multi-Role Vessel can provide offshore and littoral war fighting roles, border protection tasks, long range counter-terrorism and counter piracy operations, support to special forces and missions in support of security and stability in the immediate neighbourhood surroundings. The Austal Multi-Role Vessel (MRV) utilises the unique and proven Austal Trimaran platform coupling high speed and superior seakeeping performance with unparalleled deck space. From border patrol to ASW to humanitarian relief missions the Austal Multi-Role Vessel (MRV) is the truly reconfigurable seaframe.

Drawing on its in-house design expertise, together with feedback garnered from the RAN and a host of other international navies, it has produced an innovative Multi Role Vessel (MRV) design that succeeds in melding the powering, seakeeping and layout advantages endowed by an aluminum trimaran seaframe with the adaptability afforded by a modular payload system. The result is a supremely agile and cost effective open architecture platform that transcends traditional ship typologies to deliver superior operational flexibility.

Having already brought large high-speed trimaran technology into the military marketplace in the shape of the LCS, Austal has continued to evolve and finesse the basic design in order to further optimise performance, ride control, fuel efficiency and payload. These improvements are embodied in the next-generation AutoExpress 102 vehicle/passenger ferry, construction of which completed at the company’s Henderson yard in early 2010.

The MRV has been designed to capitalise on this pedigree, providing users with a versatile yet cost effective littoral seaframe that exploits the inherent advantages of the trimaran hullform to offer significant advantages over a similarsize monohull. These include improved hydrodynamic performance and greater propulsion efficiency, increased internal volume for a flexible mission/logistics deck, and a large and optimally sited flight deck and hangar for helicopter and/or unmanned air vehicle operations and support.

Austal’s concept combines these features with a core combat system -- scaled for situational awareness and self-defence – and a ship service infrastructure that supports interfaces to a wide range of mission payloads suited to specific naval, maritime security, theatre logistics, law enforcement, and humanitarian roles. The result is an 80 m platform that seeks to redefine the term ‘multi-mission’ by offering the prospect of true ‘plug and play’ operation. This in turn offers end users a highly adaptable asset that can be rapidly reconfigured to deliver capability across the full spectrum of operations.

A stand-out feature of the design is the mission bay area that provides a large storage and/or working area. Payloads can be moved internally by means of a gantry crane, or moved out to a V-notch in the transom for launch. Vehicular access is via an aft stern ramp, while an aft crane allows for cargo handling and the launch and recovery of small craft and unmanned surface vehicles. Austal is continuing to investigate novel motion-compensated capture mechanisms that enable recovery operations to be safely and efficiently performed in higher sea states.

The hangar and flight deck are sized for an MRH-90 type helicopter. The inherent stability of the trimaran form, together with the positioning of the flight deck nearer to the center of pitch, significantly reduces motions so as to expand helicopter operating limits in rough weather. Austal believes the MRV offers an ideal platform from which to perform EEZ surveillance and maritime security operations, championing both the efficiency and seakindliness of the MRV seaframe. While the design is capable of sprint speeds approaching 30 kt, most operations are likely to be undertaken at an economical cruise speed between 12 kt and 15 kt, a powering regime where the hydrodynamic efficiencies of the trimaran form yield significant savings in fuel consumption compared to a similar monohull. Furthermore, the low motion characteristics of the platform are ideal for an asset that may be required to loiter on station for extended periods.

Of course, the benefits of improved seakeeping and seakindliness are not just confined to crew comfort. Ship evolutions involving a ship/sea and/or ship/air interface require low motions to endow acceptable safety and operating limits, while the MRV’s multi-hull form naturally provides a sheltered area for the launch and recovery of boats or unmanned vehicles. These self same attributes lend themselves to the operation of a next generation of offboard MCM and hydrographic survey systems, embarked in the form of containerised and portable modules, that will rely on the deployment of long-range autonomous vehicles from ‘stand off’ distances.

As for sealift and intra-theatre logistics, the MRV offers seating area to accommodate an embarked military force equivalent to an entire battalion, with space in the mission deck for vehicles, cargo and containers. The craft’s shallow draft characteristics (less than 3 m) and excellent close quarters manoeuvrability enable it to access austere and confined port arrangements.

This intrinsic payload flexibility and ability to operate in waters close inshore further lends itself to humanitarian relief missions. In this case the mission deck could accommodate containerised medical facilities, relief supplies, mobile workshops and engineering vehicles. While the MRV will be built to commercial classification society standards, measures will be implemented to provide some degree of ‘hardening’ for mission systems. These include shock-tolerant cabinets for electronics hardware, and the selective application of lightweight armour around critical operational spaces.

  • Multi-mission helicopter capability
  • Large flexible mission / logistics deck
  • Open architecture systems network
  • Systems packaged mission modules
  • Missions
  • EEZ border patrol
  • Command & control
  • Surveillance
  • Humanitarian support
  • Theatre hospital
  • At sea replenishment
  • Force transportation
  • Special forces support
  • Amphibious operations
  • SAR
  • ASW
  • Vessel type Multi-Role Vessel
    Material Aluminium alloy
    Hull form Trimaran
    Deadweight (max) 400 tonnes
    Length overall 80 metres
    Length (waterline) 78.8 metres
    Beam (moulded) 21.1 metres
    Depth (moulded) 6.7 metres
    Hull draft 3.2 metres
    Mission / Logistics Deck
    Mission deck 500m2
    Clear height 500m2 at 4.0m
    Flight Deck
    Deck area 290m2 Hangar 1 x NH-90 or similar
    Personnel Deck
    Complement 35
    Crew accommodation 87 berth
    Personnel seating
    Endurance 28 days
    Range 4,500nm @ 12 knots
    Speed (max) 26 knots
    Main engines 3 x MTU 20V 4000 @ 4,300kW at 2,170 rpm Diesel engines
    Propulsion 3 x fixed pitch propellers
    Weapons and Sensors
  • Standard 25mm stabilised naval gun
  • 4 x .50 cal general purpose machine gun mounts
  • MRV-80 Multi-Role Vessel MRV-80 Multi-Role Vessel MRV-80 Multi-Role Vessel MRV-80 Multi-Role Vessel

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    Page last modified: 10-08-2013 17:43:31 ZULU