SMP pens $100mln deal to provide SRS for Indonesian Navy

UK-based manufacturer and supplier of diving and subsea rescue equipment Submarine Manufacturing and Products Ltd (SMP) has received a contract to provide its new submarine rescue system (SRS) to the Indonesian Navy.


As explained, the system will be installed on a mothership designed by design and engineering consultancy Houlder and delivered by its Indonesian strategic partner BTI Defence. The value of the contract is $100 million.

The three-year build contract will include the UK design and manufacture of the SRS, centred around SMP’s new SRV-F Mk3 rescue submersible.

According to the company, as a hybrid system that is capable of deployment both by air and on its mothership, the SRV-F Mk3 can react to a wide range of emergency scenarios, covering larger operating areas and minimising time to first rescue (TTFR).

When deployed by air, the rescue submersible can be towed to and from the distressed submarine’s location without needing to be recovered to deck.

“This key attribute reduces the time, risk and complexity of a rescue mobilisation and also greatly increases the likelihood of a suitable support ship being available on location. This hybrid approach saves critical time for stranded crews facing diminishing life support supplies, and avoids the integration challenges and dependencies associated with flyaway-only or mothership-only rescue systems,” SMP stated.

The SRV-F Mk3 can dive to depths of 500m and is can carry up to 50 rescuees at a time. The adoption of a “One Out, All Out” philosophy facilitates the rapid rescue of an entire crew from a conventional submarine in a single mission, in contrast with other rescue systems that require repeated trips to the distressed submarine.

In addition to the SRV-F Mk3, the new mothership is fitted with a suite of support equipment, including a handling system, an advanced transfer under pressure (TUP) system and a dedicated cecompression chamber, enabling the immediate medical attention and treatment of rescued personnel.

We are delighted to have been selected to support the Indonesian Navy to provide their submarine rescue system and are grateful for the support from UK Export Finance (UKEF) throughout the process. The market is evolving, and countries operating conventional submarines in regional waters simply do not need complex systems of the massive scale of nuclear navies. The logistical challenges that come with these larger systems take up time which, in an emergency, we just don’t have,” Ben Sharples, Managing Director at SMP said.

“The realization of this Submarine Rescue Vehicle Project marks a new era for the Indonesian Navy in terms of acquiring this critical capability, as well as being an important step for Indonesia’s indigenous defence industry capability,” Indonesian Ministry of Defence, Major General Mohammad Fadjar, MPICT said.

“Working closely with BTI Defence and its key partners, the Ministry of Defence has ensured that in the process of introducing this important rescue capability into our Navy, we will also be expanding our local defence manufacturing capabilities through the introduction of new skills, new knowledge, and new technologies, particularly in the field of sub-surface operations.”