UK engineering and design services company, SC Innovation, has won a contract with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to build seven Shannon Class launch and recovery vehicles (SL&RV). The vehicle comprises a high-mobility tractor and tracked carriage system which is used for launching the Shannon all-weather Lifeboat from beaches.
The contract includes orders for two powered carriage variants and five new non-powered carriage variants and is valued at more than GBP7.5 million (US$9.3 million). SC Innovation will build the vehicles to meet the RNLI’s schedule requirements at a rate of one to two per year at its facility at Dunkeswell, Devon, UK. The first is due for delivery in November 2017 with completion of the final vehicle in 2021.
The order builds on SC Innovation’s previous contract win to supply 12 SL&RVs to the RNLI, of which eight have been delivered to date. SC Innovation jointly designed and developed the vehicle with the RNLI engineering project team and was also responsible for the design of the new non-powered variant, undergoing prototype trials at the time of writing.
The original variant’s carriage is powered by a four-track-drive system to deliver the traction needed to negotiate steep gradients and rough shingle. Joe Wilcox, head of SC Innovation, said, “The new two-track-drive variant has been designed specifically for the RNLI’s less demanding locations to assist the RNLI in delivering optimised capability for the greatest value at lifeboat stations with more benign conditions.”