Saipem and Drass sign with the Directorate of Naval Armaments of the General Secretariat of Defence a contract for the supply of the new submarine rescue system

San Donato Milanese (MI), 28 December 2020 – The Directorate of Naval Armaments of the General Secretariat of Defence has acquired the submarine rescue system developed by Saipem and Drass, which will be assigned as specialist equipment to the new SDO-SuRS (Special Diving Operations – Submarine Rescue System) vessel of the Italian Navy.

The system integrates the latest generation of a remotely operated subsea vehicle (ROV) supplied by Saipem with a rescue capsule manufactured by Drass. The ROV acts as a carrier for navigation and control while the capsule carries submariners back to the surface through a controlled habitat, in full safety. The ROV and the capsule are mechanically and electronically connected, thus forming a single module linked to the vessel via a cable which contains power lines and optical fibres for power, communication and control.

The ROV control subsystems and automation devices engineering were performed by Sonsub, Saipem’s centre of excellence headquartered in Marghera (Venice), specialised in the development and industrialisation of advanced subsea technologies. The design of the surface intervention and rescue systems, as well as their modularity and integration on modern rescue ships, was performed by Drass Engineering Department in Livorno, thanks to the experience acquired on numerous submarine rescue projects with foreign navies and the wealth of knowledge matured in the offshore deep diving sector.

The expertise and experiences of both Saipem and Drass have integrated each other perfectly to offer the Italian Defence a combination of excellence in the world of subsea.

Stefano Porcari, COO of Saipem’s E&C Offshore Division, commented: “We are proud of this system collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Defense and the Italian Navy. This agreement also represents an interesting opportunity to provide, also to the defence market, high-tech products and services developed by Saipem in the construction of subsea energy systems. Indeed, we have many development programs underway, from subsea drones for marine surveillance and safety applications to the network of dual use nodes for environmental monitoring and control of sensitive underwater infrastructures”.

Sergio Cappelletti, Managing Director of Drass stated: “The historic collaboration between Drass and the Italian Navy is strengthened by the synergy with Saipem, demonstrating even more the effectiveness of using dual technology in the defence field. The technological trajectory that Drass is undertaking identifies submarine rescue as one element of a vast submarine intervention capacity, not just limited to the military field but with applications ranging from industry to research, to deep-sea cultures and to eco-sustainability support of marine environments for. We are proud of the concrete and positive feedback received internationally, even in these months that preceded the signing of this important and strategic contract”.

Photo courtesy DRASS