« Franmarine Projects

James Fisher Defence - Target Weight Deployment


In 2010 James Fisher Defence approached Franmarine, requiring support to demonstrate to the Australian Navy that their LR5 rescue submarine was capable of safely docking to a Collins class submarine. The demonstration would involve deploying and recovering a 7 tonne target weight. The exercise was to take place in open sea, requiring the target weight to be safely lowered and retrieved at a depth of 400 metres, in swells of up to 4 metres.

Technical solution

Franmarine employed an innovative solution utilising a 12 tonne winch mounted upside-down on a 20 tonne floatation barge. This allowed the target weight to be towed to site, then lowered onto the sea bed using an onboard CCTV system to control the operation.


The successful exercise illustrated to the Australian Navy that the LR5 is capable of safely docking to a Collins class submarine at required depths. James Fisher Defence demonstrated their ability to perform rescues including transferring crew and performing emergency evacuations as required (similar capabilities to the Russian submarine, the Kursk). Franmarine is proud to play an ongoing important support role to the very important Australian Navy Rescue capability.

Project Image Gallery