NATO Submarine Rescue System
The NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS) is a multi-national project to develop an international submarine rescue system. The system will provide a rescue capability primarily to the partner nations of France, Norway and the UK but also to NATO and allied nations.
The NSRS is managed by Rolls-Royce and will enter service by the end of 2008, replacing the current UK rescue system by mid-2009. The complete system is intended to be fully air transportable in the A400M European large transport aircraft.
On receipt of a SUBSUNK alert the submarine operator will initiate the NSRS call-out procedure. The Intervention Remotely Operated Vehicle (IROV) will mobilise to the scene within 56 hours and locate the distressed submarine, establish communications, conduct damage assessment and prepare for rescue operations.
The SRV along with a portable launch and recovery system (PLARS), support and operating equipment and the Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) equipment will follow 6 hours later. All equipment and personnel will be flown to the mobilisation port for embarkation on a suitable mother ship (MOSHIP). The complete mobilisation will take less than 18 hours and the MOSHIP will then sail to the scene where the SRV will be deployed. The aim is to achieve time to first rescue of 72 hours, with personnel being brought to the surface in groups of 15 and transferring them to the TUP system if necessary.
Intervention Remotely Operated Vehicle (IROV)
The IROV system comprises the vehicle, the launch and recovery system and the control module. The vehicle is based on the PSSL Triton SP ROV which is in widespread commercial use and is fitted with variable vectored thrusting. It is capable of operating in depths of 1000m and is very mobile and compact.
Submarine Rescue Vehicle (SRV)
The SRV is a manned submersible and was developed from previous rescue vehicles, notably LR5, developed by Perry Slingsby Systems Ltd in North Yorkshire. It is 10m long, weighs 27 tonnes and has an all-steel(NQ1), single piece hull. The craft is operated by a three man crew (a pilot, an observer and a rescue chamber operator). It can operate at depths between 20m and 610m and can mate with the rescue hatch seal at angles of up to 60 degrees in any direction. It also uses the latest technology batteries, the Rolls Royce "Zebra" type. These enable it to stay submerged for up to 96 hours. Propulsion is provided by 2 x 25kW units, with a further 4 smaller units being used for positioning. It is the latest generation of Rescue Vehicle and has Diverless Recovery, Fibre-Optic Data Comms and a Self Contained Breathing system developed by Divex. It was delivered in October 2007, has made a 600 metre deep mate with a submarine, and is currently completing trials.
Portable Launch and Recovery System (PLARS)
The PLARS comprises a combined SRV catcher and stabilisation system and is designed for operation in high sea states (up to sea state 6). The system is air transportable in C-130 Hercules and the new A400M. It uses a constant tension winch system for maintaining hawse tension in all sea states.
Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) System
The TUP system is fully autonomous and provides full decompression and medical support. It comprises a reception chamber, two decompression chambers and a central control position. It has a TUP capability of 150 men from 6 bar and a capacity of 68 men plus medical personnel.
- Ismerlo NSRS page