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UK Rescue Systems



Based at the Submarine Rescue Headquarters in Renfrew, Nr Glasgow with easy access to the airports at Glasgow and Prestwick, the UKSRS provides a comprehensive and world wide Submarine Rescue Service to the Royal Navy.  It is also available for call out to DISSUBs of other nations.

The UKSRS is at 12hrs notice to deploy to save the lives of the crew of any stricken submarine by rescue or by the supply of Life Support services until rescue can be achieved.  These assets consist of:

  1. Scorpio 45 Remotely Operated Vehicle
  2. LR5 manned rescue submersible
  3. Containerised supporting infrastructure (workshops, control facilities).
  4. Flyaway handling system including A-frame
  5. Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) system. 
  6. Flyaway INMARSAT secure comms system

The primary role of LR5 is to provide a rapid-reaction rescue capability in north European waters.  However it is available to complement other nations' systems in a large-scale rescue operation.  The UKSRS can be transported to any location capable of receiving a C17 or Antonov 124 aircraft.  Transport to a suitable port for mating with a MOSHIP is then required.  Deployment is a procedure that has been exercised on numerous occasions.  LR5 was refitted in 2000 to increase rescue capacity from nine to 16 survivors at pressures of up to 5 bar.Operated by commercial contractors Rumic, the UKSRS comes with a portable 25-ton A-frame, which is fitted to a suitable MOSHIP (identified from a worldwide database) in order to lower and raise the submersible from the water.  This sophisticated device is capable of the safe launching and recovery of the manned SRV in up to sea state 6.Primarily tasked with locating a DISSUB, the ROV Scorpio 45 can survey, inspect and mark the submarine and then transfer life-support stores (such as oxygen candles and carbon dioxide absorbent material) in special containers via the submarine's escape tower.  Hatch clearing is also possible.   Operations can be conducted down to the length of the umbilical (911m).The UK also operates a Submarine Parachute Assistance Group (SPAG).  SPAG are delivered directly to the sea above the DISSUB to assist the rescue of escapees prior to the arrival of sea borne rescue forces.  SPAG is based at the Submarine Escape Training Tank in Gosport England.  

Scorpio 45

Vehicle Dimensions Length: 2.75m

Height: 1.8m

Width: 1.8m

Weight: 1.4 Tonnes
Payload Up to 100kg (without additional buoyancy)
Ratings Depth: 914m (sea water)
Forward speed: Up to 4 knots

Lateral speed: Up to 2.5 knots

Astern speed: Up to 3.25 knots
Umbilical Full survey specification umbilical: 4 coaxes, 3 signal quads, all available through a sub sea junction box fitted with Burton connectors in standard pin configuration.
Standard payload fit 1 x SIT camera on pan/tilt unit

1 x Colour camera on pan/tilt unit

1 x SIT camera on forward frame

1 TA009 manipulator

1 Merpro 5 function manipulator

Ametek 250A obstacle avoidance sonar

Mesotech 971 colour sonar

Standard Humphrey gyro

6 x 250 Watt lights (3 Variable, 3 fixed intensity)

1 x 27KHz Acoustic Pinger

1 x 10KHz Receiver
Control container Standard 20' x 8' ISO container, steel construction, fully certified for offshore use. Workshop Container. Tools, spares and consumables storage units.
Operational Equipment 1 Perry 5 Function Manipulator.

7 valve auxiliary hydraulic control unit.

Mud pumps

Ametek cable cutter

Transponder/Payload carry/release units

Dual head option for Mesotech 971

Underslung skid units for pipe wheels or additional payload.

Deck camera system

Survey junction box
Main winch Sea Mac winch modified as follows:

Drum enlarged to carry 1100m of Survey type umbilical



Figure 1: LR5

Vehicle Dimensions Length: 2.75m

Width: 3m

Height (with mating skirt and 15' wedge): 3.5m

Height (without skirt):2.75m

Weight (with skirt and wedge fitted): 21.3 tonnes

Maximum operating depth: 457m (1500ft)
Air Transport Whole system is capable of being loaded onto large aircraft for delivery to port of embarkation. One An 124 plus 2 or 3 C130; One C17 plus 6 C130 or 2 C17 are required.
NB system comprises Vehicle plus A Frame and numerous containerised offices, workshops and stores.
Construction Pressure Hull: Glass reinforced plastic

Diver Lock out compartment: Steel

Viewports: Acrylic
Batteries 120v and 24v 504 AH at 5 hour rate.

Endurance highly dependent on battery usage

likely range: In excess of 12 hours
Life Support Endurance 75 man days CO2 absorption material and Oxygen
Payload Nominally, the payload is stated at 680 kg.

Additional buoyancy can be carried externally
Speed Maximum speed is 2.5 knots
Through water communications Underwater telephones SUBCOM-10KHz (compatible with 2008 and 2056) and 27KHz

2056- Voice and pinger, 10KHz, 27KHz and 45KHz

Also pinger only, 27.5kHz
Radio Equipment VHF Radio channels 15, 16, 33

UHF Radio channel 1 - 444.55 MHz

Channel 2 - 444.60MHz
Tools available Manipulator Slingsby TA 9 7-function master slave.

Claw 2-function ejectable claw with 12" and 21" diameter options.

'Secatuer' Cutter Capacity to cut 25mm diameter soft rope.

'Guillotine' Cutter Capacity to 50mm and 89mm wire rope

Disc cutter 305mm discs
Operating crew Eight qualified people in support

One pilot and one Diver Lock Out Chamber operator when submerged
Weather/Sea conditions Can operate up to sea state 6 and/or gale force 7.

Surface visibility is not to be less than 1nm.
Mating Angle Mating can be achieved up to 10' heel on LR5 or at up to 60' bow up.

A skirt wedge is available to assist with mating
Rescuee Capability At internal pressure of one Bar LR5's cram capacity is sixteen rescuees. It was outfitted with a basic transfer under pressure (TUP) capability using a deck transfer lock, type "A" and Type "B" chambers
Auxiliary Equipment Is all fully contained within two standard containers and includes battery charging, HP air and oxygen charging and workshop facilities




FIgure 2,3,4: LR5 with her new transfer under pressure (TUP) suite operating in exercise Sorbet Royal 02