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Leonardo: A NATO combined operation

source: Marine Log, April, 2001 issue

A new build NATO research vessel incorporates technology from many NATO nations.
NATO's SACLANT Undersea Research Centre (SACLANTCEN), La Spezia, Italy, conducts research in support of NATO's undersea operational requirements. It operates the only ship jointly owned by all the NATO nations, the purpose built acoustically silent, N.R.V. Alliance. It has been in continuous and productive service since its delivery in 1988 by the builders.
Since the end of the cold war, a shift of emphasis into the shallower littoral waters has caused a significant increase in the use of SACLANTCEN's existing leased shallow water research work boat Manning in increasingly complex and sophisticated experiments at sea.
In 1998, funding for a new coastal research vessel was approved and following a seven month design phase executed by Burness, Corlett and Partners, U.K., and an international competition, a shipbuilding contract was awarded to McTay Marine Ltd., U.K, on 19 December 2000 to construct a 28 meter Coastal Research Vessel (CRV), scheduled for delivery in April 2002.
The CRV, to be named Leonardo, will be the first vessel to operate as an Italian Public Vessel and will be listed on a special register within the Italian Ministry of Defense. It will be classed and certified by ABS.
Leonardo will replace the leased, 20 m workboat Manning which is now 47 years old. The new vessel, which will have one very silent low speed condition, will enjoy the benefits of diesel electrical propulsion driving twin azimuthing thrusters and one azimuthing bow thruster controlled by a fully automated dynamic positioning and power management sys tem. Wet and dry laboratories, diving facilities and an impressive suite of deck handling cranes, winches and A-frame, will provide the necessary facilities to undertake all the required shallow seas scientific research operations. Sleeping and messing accommodation for 10 persons will be incorporated.
Leonardo will incorporate systems and hardware from numerous NATO nations. The hull will be built by Remontowa in Poland with superstructure and assembly in U.K.
Main generators will come from Cummins in the U.S.; azimuthing thrusters from Schottel, Germany; electrical distribution and power management will be by Ansaldo, Italy, and cranes will come from Effer, Italy.
Winches will come from Marine Project Development, U.K., and watertight doors from Winel/Dollco, Holland.
The vessel, when delivered, will be a technological step change which will significantly enhance NATO's defense related undersea research capabilities and further contribute to military requirements.

Copyright 2005 Remontowa