MTR 100: Saab Seaeye Ltd

Posted by Irina Tabakina

20 Brunel Way
Segensworth East
Fareham, Hampshire, UK PO15 5SD
Tel:  +44(0)1489 898 000
Fax: +44(0)1489 898 001
[email protected]
Managing Director: Jon Robertson
Turnover: $70m


The Company
Saab Seaeye manufactures electric ROVs, a line-up that includes Saab’s range of tethered and hybrid underwater vehicle systems for both the defense and commercial markets. Accredited by DNV to ISO 9001 and ISO 18001, Saab Seaeye is a leading supplier of electric ROVs to the oil and gas industry, and a major ROV resource for renewable energy, defense forces, marine science and hydro-engineering.
Saab Seaeye has facilities in both the UK and Sweden and employs more than 230 people. It has a turnover of around $70 million and recently doubled the size of its manufacturing and engineering operations in the UK.  Exports stand at over 80% of sales with the company represented and supported in 25 countries around the world, and it has an office in Houston, TX.
Founded in 1986, Seaeye has pioneered many innovations in the ROV industry including: Brushless DC thrusters; Polypropylene chassis; Carbon fiber pressure vessels; Distributed intelligence control system; Fault-tolerant systems with self-diagnostics; and High frequency power distribution.
More than 750 ROV systems have been sold, fitted with a range of standard and custom designed tooling and sensors that includes cameras, manipulators, survey sensors, cutters, tracking systems, sonars, torque tools and water jetting tools. The company also designs and manufactures a range of ROV handling devices including Tether Management Systems.
In-house deep rated pressure test facilities are installed at the company’s Fareham factory along with a test tank for final vehicle Factory Acceptance Testing together with product development testing. The company also has access to a local indoor test facility and another substantial indoor test tank is located in Sweden. For major trials Saab uses its harbor and workshops on the shore of the 1900 sq. km Lake Vättern. 

The Tech

Technologically, the Saab Seaeye range comes in various sizes, power and tasking options that extend from compact inspection ROVs to work ROVs and AUV/ROV hybrids. Recently introduced is the Seaeye Technology Toolbox concept that creates a common architecture resulting in the lowest number of parts at the least possible cost for the highest possible performance and quality. Commonalty of software and hardware across all vehicles offers customers simpler repair and maintenance, easier upgrades, quicker delivery, more assured quality and a lower real through life cost. It also results in simplified and common training for operators in using and maintaining the systems.
The Seaeye Technology Toolbox is important in the development of breakthrough concepts like the Intelligent Control System, iCON,  - a vital innovation that makes every device within an underwater vehicle aware of its own status, predicts failure and takes action as necessary to keep the vehicle working.
iCON also lets engineers reach across the world into the heart of a vehicle through an internet gateway that gives them ready access to diagnostics, software upgrades and system inventory.
The Commercial Range includes:
• Falcon – Portable ROV for easy deployment. Distributed control system. Five thrusters. Rated 300 and 1000m.
• Tiger - Industry standard observation ROV. Five thrusters. Rated 1000m.
• Lynx - Larger than the Tiger with additional outlets for survey sensors. Six thrusters. Rated 1500m.
• Cougar XT - Powerful observation and light work ROV. Six thrusters. Rated 2000m.
• Cougar XT Compact – Low profile version for strong currents. Six thrusters. Rated 300m.
• Cougar XTi – iCONcontrol system. Six thrusters. Rated 3000m.
• Panther XT – Light Work and Survey ROV. Six thrusters. Rated 1500m.
• Panther XT Plus – Powerful fast swimming version. Ten thrusters. Rated 1000m
• Leopard – Compact, powerful, work ROV. iCONTM control system. Eleven thrusters. Rated 3000m plus.
• Jaguar - Largest work ROV. iCONTM control system. Eight thrusters. Rated 3000m with 6000m option.
• Sabertooth – Autonomous, hovering, long range AUV/ROV hybrid for inspection and light work tasks.

(As published in the July/Aug 2014 edition of Marine Technology Reporter -

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