SEA-KIT triples production and expands R&D with new facility


SEA-KIT International’s brand-new production facility for its larger XL-Class Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) is now operational, with the first 18m hull being fitted out ready for delivery this summer to world-leading geo-intelligence specialist, Fugro.

2022 was a busy year for the growing USV designer and builder. Having announced expansion plans in March, the company went on to successfully deliver two more of its proven 12m X-Class vessels. Another two of these are currently in build in addition to the XL-Class, which has three times the payload capacity. SEA-KIT has recently been granted patents for its X and XL-Class designs.

Ben Simpson, SEA-KIT CEO said: “It is great to go into 2023 with the new facility up and running. With the addition of this building, we have tripled production capacity and expanded our R&D area. It gives us more, much-needed space for the ongoing development of launch and recovery systems for ROVs and AUVs, mast gondolas and sensor deployment systems, as well as enhancing manufacturing efficiencies for multiple USV builds.”

SEA-KIT officially opened the new building, built alongside the company’s existing base in Tollesbury, Essex, UK, on 1 October 2022. The company has also significantly invested in people over the last six months, with new starters joining the technical, design, operations and administration teams.

As well as working on a burgeoning orderbook, the team will soon be preparing the company’s testing and research vessel, USV Maxlimer, for her next mission. Maxlimer is back in the UK following a successful subsea volcano survey project in Tonga last August.

Ben continued: “We are always looking for people who want to apply their skills to supporting the company’s ethos of redefining the way we work offshore. The industry is collaboratively working towards ambitious net zero emissions targets and uncrewed vessels are already a critical part of our maritime future.”

A team from SEA-KIT will attend Oceanology International Americas next month to meet with end-users and stakeholders from the ocean science and technology community as they gather in San Diego.