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The Galician Ferri prepares a Water drone draft for the French Navy

The company will develop the crane for the collection and launching of the vessel and is also studying to tackle it alone if it manages funding

Industrias Ferri, from Gondomar, is working on a "pioneer" international project to build a Navy drone, in which French and Russian companies would collaborate. The Welsh Navy would be one of the applicants of this ship without crew. This was confirmed by company sources yesterday. It would be a project of 'high level', the company explains, where they will offer his experience for a product that represents "a budding market."

Industrias Ferri's work on this proposal will be the building of cranes to collect and launch. That is in principle. The company does not rule out carrying out the project on its own if they got finance. They have a technical office in its facilities where the company intends to guide the work of its engineers in innovation.

The project is still "in its early stages”, the company explains. Industrias Ferri wants to rent a ship to carry out the first tests in order to develop a prototype. So far, they have only achieved selling agreements, a modality that the company does not favour due to the economic effort involved. Defined tasks on each company have not been distributed yet due to being the project in its initial phase. The work of these would be collaborative, similar to a joint venture.

The building of this vessel, which the company considers "very interesting" arises from the commitment for unpiloted planes being made by the aviation sector. The introduction of these marine drones on the market would facilitate both civilian and military works. This unmanned ship could carry out surveillance or rescue tasks in adverse weather conditions.

Protected by the shipbuilding industry

Industrias Ferri is a company created to feed the naval sector. The arrival of the economic crisis on the shipyards forced them to seek new markets. His current model is, according to the company, like a balloon. They have a technical office and permanent workers, about sixty people increasing through subcontractors for its riskier projects.

The last one was the construction of a mega crane and mills for an offshore wind farm in Wikinger, Germany. This is the same plan in which Navantia works. Commissioned by Iberdrola, the company from Gondomar designed and built this 43 meters long machine that will allow maintenance crews to access the park mills for their care and review.

The company has diversified its market in recent years. Its potential customers are now in the Baltic countries. Among others, they have worked for groups such as Petrobras, Svitzer, Aker Solutions, Jan Noul or Esvagt. They are present in 110 countries and have collaborated in the construction of about 1,000 vessels. They have 50 years of experience.

(Source: La Voz de Galicia)