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Aister delivers with Navantia the first drone ship that will start operating in Spain

The vessel will do surveillance and rescue work for Ceuta Port Authority

Navantia has successfully delivered a drone ship commissioned by the Ceuta Port Authority. The 10.23-meter boat is designed to act in surveillance and rescue work, which can be carried out either autonomously, remotely or with crew on board. The construction of the Aister Aluminium Shipyard was key in its construction, which was responsible for the aluminium fabrication of the ship, as well as the design and installation of all the automatisms that interact with the software designed and installed by Navantia at its facilities in San Fernando (Cádiz). According to its creators, the drone boat, named USV Vendaval, will be the first to start operating in Spain.

The contract, published by FARO during the last edition of Navalia exhibition, was awarded to the state shipyard at the end of 2017. Specifically, the Port of Ceuta ordered the supply of an environmental monitoring and control system (SVCM) in the waters near the docks, which included both technologies to install on land and this autonomous unmanned ship. He received about twenty score, but Navantia won with a budget of 954,545.45 euros.

The ship was completed and delivered by Aister a year ago, prior sea trials of the shipyard at Vigo’s Bay. It was taken to Cádiz, to Navantia facilities, where the necessary equipment and software were installed to turn it into an autonomous ship.

Since the beginning of the month the USV Vendaval is already in Ceuta sailing around the port, where it has its own mooring area also developed by Aister. "It is a pier system with automatic docking," said the shipyard representatives. As explained by the Spanish autonomous city media, the intention of the Port Authority is to start operating from February.

The same representative points out in addition to surveillance, the ship will also carry out rescues of people who throw themselves into the water trying to get on the ferries that leave Ceuta towards the Peninsula. It has speakers and rescue systems that can be launched automatically in order to avoid it.


The USV Vendaval is the second drone vessel in which the factory from Meira has worked. The first one was submitted during that edition of Navalia (in 2018) and belongs to Ocean Master project. In this case it was an R&D system of an unmanned multipurpose marine vehicle capable of performing ocean missions in complex environments. Three other companies from Galicia, Andalusia and Murcia participated in the project.

These two unmanned vessels add to other projects of drone boats with Vigo’s seal such as those devised by Ferri, Narwhal, Marine Instruments or Seadrone Industries (with Indra).

Furthermore, Aister continues to manufacture other working boats. The dockyard delivered in the last weeks three high-speed interceptor patrols for the Maritime Service of the Civil Guard (for work and operations of search and intervention in the south of the Peninsula waters and the Balearic Islands) and will do the same with the fire engine destined to the Coast Guard service of Mauritius. Similarly, the shipyard continues to manufacture aluminium blocks for the main factories of Vigo’s Bay.

(Source: Faro de Vigo)

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