Northrop Grumman develops winterisation field upgrade kit for vessels


Northrop Grumman has manufactured a winterisation field upgrade kit for ships using the Northern Sea Route.

The new kit has been developed to extend the low temperature capability of marine navigation equipment and allow ships to function in the Arctic environment of the polar shipping routes.

With this new system, marine navigation radar turning units will be able to operate in temperatures of below -55°C and also keeps S-band and X-band sensors in the turning units free from ice.

"The winterisation field upgrade kit will allow our VMFT radar sensors to function in these extreme climates and supports our efforts to continually improve the safety of marine navigation."

Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine managing director Jeanne Usher said: "Ships operating in the Arctic environments are exposed to a number of unique risks and we recognise the need to ensure that our equipment is capable of functioning effectively under the challenges of polar operations.

"The winterisation field upgrade kit will allow our VMFT radar sensors to function in these extreme climates and supports our efforts to continually improve the safety of marine navigation."

This heater kit, which is applicable with all VisionMaster FT (VMFT) radar sensors, was designed by Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine and can be attached in the field at or after installation.

The Russian Maritime Register of Shipping has approved this product and allows the operator to extend the working temperature of any unit.

Northrop Grumman is now focused on the improvement of operations to enable the vessels and rigs perform in extreme temperatures, especially in consideration of future climate changes.

Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) will be required for products after the opening up of Northern Sea Route and with new regulations, which demands the installation of ice detection capability even with one radar.