SEA-KIT at forefront of Unmanned Marine Systems certification
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SEA-KIT at forefront of Unmanned Marine Systems certification

SEA-KIT International, a leading designer and builder of uncrewed surface vessels (USVs), achieved a significant milestone in 2021 when it received the first-ever Unmanned Marine Systems (UMS) certificate from Lloyd’s Register (LR). This accomplishment marked a pivotal moment for the maritime industry, setting a high standard for USV sector certification.

Since then, SEA-KIT has maintained a close collaboration with LR to uphold the highest standards in the USV sector. Its latest achievement is the LR UMS certification awarded to the 12-metre SEA-KIT X-Class USV, Fugro Blue Essence. This recognition represents SEA-KIT’s fifth certificate and marks the first LR UMS certification for a Category 0 certified vessel.

Mathew Palmer, LR global naval business lead – Submarines and Uncrewed Systems, commented: “Lloyd’s Register is delighted to award UMS certification to this SEA-KIT X-Class ‘Fugro Blue Essence’. The USV’s state-of-the-art design and capabilities demonstrate the future of marine technology, and this certification underscores the vessel’s readiness for remote operation in challenging maritime environments.”

The importance of certification

Category 0 approval, the highest level of approval for workboats, was awarded to the vessel by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency in January 2024. It is now the largest Cat 0 certified USV to operate fully remotely and with unrestricted service to support marine projects further offshore while enhancing safety and environmental performance.

Doug Graham, SEA-KIT managing director, said: “We continue to push boundaries with the design and construction of our USVs. Certification is essential for the industry to provide a safety assurance framework and it is testament to the team’s hard work that SEA-KIT now holds the most UMS certificates awarded to any company. We will strive to maintain this leadership stance and our long-standing relationship with Lloyd’s Register, so that we can continue to support the sector in achieving ambitious net zero targets.”

SEA-KIT USVs are at work on commercial projects around the world. The company has several vessels in build and on order, including the next-generation 18-metre SEA-KIT XL-Class USV, which will also be certified against LR’s UMS Code. The vessel is currently preparing to start sea trials in Ipswich, England.

Fugro Blue Essence USV performing inspection off the coast in Australia.
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