Fairlead signed an exclusive agreement with the Icelandic company Rafnar to build its patented ÖK Hull in the U.S. for both manned and unmanned applications.
“This is very exciting news for Fairlead,” declared Fairlead President Fred Pasquine. “Rafnar has similar agreements with companies in several other countries, but Fairlead is the first company to partner with Rafnar in the U.S.”
The Rafnar ÖK Hull is a revolutionary hull-and-keel technology that impressed Fairlead leadership several years ago during a hull test in the U.S. Bob Bodvake, General Manager of Fairlead’s shipyard in Newport News, Va. stated, “The ÖK Hull dramatically improves safety in boat operations. It reduces risks operating in rough seas by decreasing slamming and eliminating bow rise and stern skidding in all sea states. It’s simply a safer boat to operate because it performs better. The reduction in slamming and increased stability offered by the unique hull design will undoubtedly revolutionize the boating market in the U.S.”
Rafnar released a video highlighting the newly established Fairlead-Rafnar team and future plans. The team’s objective is to not only enter the U.S. manned vessel market but to position themselves as the premium platform in what is perhaps the largest paradigm shift in the maritime industry in recent years, the advent of the unmanned vessel. The goal of the partnership is to become the leading solution provider in the early days of autonomous boat development.
Over the months ahead, Fairlead will be developing the infrastructure and tooling to support hull production, as well as designing a new 11-to-12-meter variant, specific to the needs of certain U.S. tactical and unmanned requirements.
Pasquine added, “We look forward to a partnership with Rafnar and anticipate a fantastic future working together. As they say in Iceland, Sjáumst á sjónum (See you at sea).”
Fairlead, headquartered in Portsmouth, Va., is a veteran-owned small business supplier of integrated electrical and control systems, large-scale mechanical fabrications and structures, precision machined metal components and subsystems, and advanced mobile containerized products. Fairlead’s products are part of mission-critical systems in the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz and Ford-class aircraft carriers, Virginia and Columbia-class submarines, all classes of surface combatants and amphibious ships including Arleigh Burke Class DDGs, San Antonio Class LPDs, LHA-8, the Littoral Combat Ship class, and many classes of support and Auxiliary ships of the Military Sealift Command, the Maritime Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Additionally, Fairlead provides repair and maintenance services to vessels, small boats, and craft through its ship repair facility in Newport News, Va. Fairlead provides Down River services to the U.S. Navy and Auxiliary Fleet worldwide. For more information, visit https://fairleadint.com.