Remote Imaging solutions (RIS) recently conducted subsea work for Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia by utilising ROVs for an in-water hull survey on HMAS Ballarat in order to assess the amount of marine bio fouling on the ship’s hull.
HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) is an Anzac-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy. The frigate was laid down in 2000 and commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy in mid-2004. Ballarat is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. Ballarat‘s combat capabilities have been significantly improved under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program, a world class program that provides an enhanced sensor and weapons systems capability.
HMAS Ballarat recently returned to HMAS Stirling on Garden Island from an overseas deployment. Prior to moving to the Australian Maritime Complex (AMC) in Henderson for maintenance, RIS was able to mobilise to Garden Island to conduct the in-water hull survey. The inspection took a day and was considered a success by DSTG as RIS was able to provide an assessment on marine growth in accordance with the Department of Defence’s reporting structure.
The Director and Chief Pilot, Neil O’Grady, says “We are excited to continue working at HMAS Stirling by providing subsea and aerial inspection capabilities for the Department of Defence. It also provides opportunities for a few of our employees who are Royal Australian Navy veterans, to work alongside us in a familiar environment where they really flourish and feel comfortable.”
The use of a ROV for the hull inspection eliminated the risk of deploying divers in the water and provided a safe option for collecting subsea data. ROVs today are proven to be more common as companies are seeking innovative ways of conducting subsea work in a more safe and efficient manner.