Paramount Maritime has launched the first of three next-generation Survey Motor Boats (SMBs) for the South African Navy. The South African Navy Hydrographic Office (SANHO) will use the boats to enhance its capabilities and infrastructure.

In addition to the Survey Motor Boats, the programme also provides for the delivery of a Hydrographic Survey Vessel and a Sea Boat as well as a third, fully operational inshore Survey Motor Boat, to remain ashore and in reserve.

Veecraft Marine, a subsidiary of Paramount Maritime, had been tasked with the design and manufacture of the Survey Motor Boats, all of which having taken place within South Africa. The 11-metre length overall (LOA) SMB hosts two twin Volvo Penta duo-prop propellers, providing for greater fuel efficiency and effective and predictable handling alongside a Volvo Penta D3 joystick helm control system.

The vessel’s advanced survey equipment includes Multi-Beam and Single-Beam echo-sounders and Side-Scan Sonar and a Seabed Sampler to recover sample material from the sea-floor and underlying sub-strata for detailed analytical and testing purposes. The vessel capabilities allow for nearshore shallow water surveys in depths of up to 300 metres.

A spokesperson of Veecraft Marine, stated: ‘Despite the operational challenges presented by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the successful delivery of the first in a fleet of Survey Motor Boats is a testament to the ingenuity and steadfast dedication of our team. This boat is the most advanced survey vessel currently in production globally. We are privileged to continue to support the South African Navy in pioneering the innovative design, manufacture and delivery of one of the most comprehensive, sophisticated survey vessels to be built entirely within South Africa.’

The Survey Motor Boat will now continue standard harbour trials and sea acceptance testing before being delivered to the South African Navy for utilisation.