Industry, Logistics & Shipping

UAE's Al Seer Marine inks strategic deal with Rafnar

Al Seer Marine, a key manufacturer of unmanned surface vessel (USV) based in the UAE, has signed a co-operation agreement with Iceland-based company Rafnar to develop products using its revolutionary technology, OK Hull and sell them under Abu Dhabi license.

Rafnar began as a research and development company for the unique ÖK Hull, a hull platform that ensures endurance, comfort and safety for mariners in the harshest of environments by reducing wave slamming impacts by up to 95 per cent.

The company now sells its own premium vessels and provides licensing opportunities for their ÖK Hull technology to vessel builders.

The initial goal of this collaboration is to convert Rafnar’s famous Embla RHIB platform into a manned and USV in turn making it the most stable USV platform of its size in the world.

Embla earned its reputation in the industry when it crossed the North Atlantic from Iceland to Gothenburg unsupported, tackling up to 6-metre waves over a 1,357 nautical mile distance.

Rafnar and Al Seer Marine have both developed their individual proprietary technologies and seen multiple opportunities in working together. Al Seer Marine are seeking to further strengthen its product portfolio through the application of Rafnar’s ÖK Hull and in the process of developing the world’s most stable USV.

The cooperation agreement was signed at the Al Seer Marine Headquarters in Abu Dhabi in the presence of Al Seer Marine executives including Russell Bartlett, Operations Manager and Lee Drinkwater, Head of Business Development & Strategy, and Rafnar officials including Björn Jónsson, Managing Director and Karl Birgir Björnsson, Director of Business Development.

While the partnership focuses primarily on offering future USV platforms with the groundbreaking Rafnar ÖK Hull technology, the companies also agreed to a cooperation for the production of Rafnar vessels, with Al Seer Marine agreeing to subcontract builds for Rafnar in Abu Dhabi under the Al Seer Marine licence, said the officials of the Abu Dhabi group.

Drinkwater pointed out that Al Seer Marine was looking forward to a long-standing collaboration with the marine industry disruptors Rafnar.

"We are excited to be able to unman Rafnar’s Embla, a great starting point. Adding the ÖK hull to our portfolio of vessels ensures we deliver the most stable seakeeping platforms for the most extreme marine environments," he noted.

On his part, Rafnar' Jónsson dubbed this cooperation as "an excellent example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts."

A homegrown brand established in Abu Dhabi, Al Seer Marine aims to be one of the premier, non-export controlled maritime solutions provider in the world. With this strategic partnership, Al Seer Marine will be able to further develop and strengthen manufacturing innovations and technically advanced solutions for all types of maritime tasks.-TradeArabia News Service