The Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 7011 is a new series of crew transportation vessels designed by Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group. It is expected to provide the highest levels of comfort and safety.
Aqua Helix, the first vessel of the new class, was successfully launched in January 2021 at Damen Shipyards Antalya, Turkey, following the completion of sea trials off the Turkish coast in October 2021.
The vessel is undergoing further installations including the Ampelmann gangway system in the Netherlands. It will undergo fully-integrated, proof of concept trials in the North Sea, upon completion of the installations.
The Damen FCS 7011 vessel is positioned as a cost-effective and viable alternative to helicopter-based transportation. It can provide a large transfer capacity for long distances at high speeds.
FCS 7011 design and features
The FCS 7011 features an aluminium hull and superstructure. A distinctive ‘Sea Axe’ bow design is incorporated to reduce slamming during transit. The design principles include comfort, operability, speed, efficiency and flexibility.
The crew transport vessel has a length of 73.6m, a width of 11.2m, and a maximum draught of 4.5m, while its gross tonnage is 1,276t.
It can transport up to 122 personnel in a single trip and can be deployed in support of renewable energy and oil and gas projects.
Navigation and control systems
A range of motion-compensating technologies are integrated into the Damen FCS 7011 for increased safety. The systems include a Kongsberg dynamic positioning (DP) system, a customised Ampelmann gangway, and a VEEM gyrostabiliser to reduce the rolling motion of the vessel in waves. The optimisations enable a tightly integrated advanced control system for a safe crew transfer in different sea conditions.
The FCS 7011 will also feature the Damen Triton connected vessel platform, which is a remote monitoring and operational insight system. The platform gathers information using sensors located around the vessel to enable efficient sailing, remote monitoring, and preventive maintenance. Digitalisation also aims to reduce fuel usage and emissions.
Accommodation on board Aqua Helix
The vessel’s lower deck accommodates the crew cabins and technical spaces. The main deck above the lower deck houses the crew cabins, mess/pantry, technical spaces, and passenger seating area.
The first deck also features a passenger seating area, a lobby area, and a bar and lounge. The seating areas are furnished with luxurious fully-reclinable seats.
Sprinkler systems are installed in the accommodation areas, while the ship also features manually-operated fire extinguishers.
FCS 7011 propulsion details
The FCS vessel is powered by four 20-cylinder 4000 M73L MTU engines with an option for Caterpillar main engines. The total power output is between 8,000bkW (brake kilowatt) and 14,400bkW. The vessel is also equipped with four Reintjes VLJ-type gearboxes and two static fuel filter systems and pumps.
The engine room includes a fixed gas-flooding system. The vessel will have the capacity to carry 70m³ of fuel oil and 11m³ of freshwater.
The propulsion system also features four Hamilton HT9000 waterjets, Danfoss Editron shaft generators, up to two 426ekW (electrical kilowatt) retractable Veth bow thrusters, and up to two 250ekW tunnel thrusters.
The FCS 7011 can achieve a maximum cruising speed of 40kt and a range up to 1,481km.
Finnish company Danfoss Editron received a contract to provide the electric drivetrain system for the FCS vessel.
AMW-MARINE, a propulsion systems manufacturer, was engaged to provide the Hamilton HT9000 waterjets for the vessel.
MTU, the power systems business unit of Rolls-Royce, was selected to supply the 4000 M73L MTU engines for the FCS 7011.
In October 2020, Damen signed a three-year supply agreement with VEEM, a marine propulsion and stabilisation systems manufacturer, for the supply of its gyrostabilisers.