Griffon Hovercraft Scores Big Contracts Around the World

Griffon Hovercraft, powered by diesel engines and built to international standards, are designed to accomplish nearly any task. The company offers a wide and versatile line (please see chart) of amphibious fast craft, which are designed for a long service life operating over deep and shallow water, land, mud, sand, ice, weed, debris, swamp, rocks and rapids.

The company enjoys a variety of customers as broad as its product line, and has won a number of recent contracts. For Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria, Griffon will supply three twin-engined 3000TDX Mkll hovercraft, each able to carry 30 to 36 people plus luggage at a cruising, full-payload speed of 40 knots. Powered by two 525-hp Deutz BF12L513C diesels, the craft will operate mainly in the ferry and logistics support role in the debris-strewn rivers of the Niger Delta.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) — a voluntary organization responsible for all sea rescues around the coasts of the British Isles — bought a Grif- fon 450TD, a six-seat unit to be used to rescue people in areas where RNLI's other boats cannot reach, including areas of very shallow water, mudflats, sandbars, rocks, ice and swamp. The 450TD can achieve speeds of more than 30 knots, powered by twin Volkswagen 75 hp automotive diesel engines driving twin air propellers. RNLI currently operates 307 conventional lifeboats from 224 lifeboat stations around the coasts of the U.K. and Ireland.

Griffon Hovercraft has found a strong buyer in the various coast guard agencies of the world, including in Sweden and in India. For the former, Griffon delivered a pair of 2000TDX units to be based in Lulea and Umea on the North East coast of Sweden. The two boats are powered each by a pair of Deutz BF8L513LC diesel engines, which develop 355 hp each. Featuring a one-ton pull winch, both of these craft have a slightly raised wheelhouse, affording a 360- degree view. The hulls are 50 percent thicker than the standard craft from Griffon, for over ice operation. Two long "skids" on the bottom of the hull assist the craft in "skiing" over the higher ice ridges. For the Indian Coast Guard, Griffon delivered six 8000TD(M) hovercraft to be used for anti-smuggling and anti-infiltration. The vessels have a top speed in excess of 50 knots with a payload of eight tons, and are armed with ,5-in. machine guns. In a unique arrangement, two of the vessels were manufactured at GHL's new boatyard in Southampton, and four were to be assembled from completely knockeddown kits (CKD's) by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Calcutta. All of the Indian Coast Guard boats are powered by two 800-hp, water-cooled MTU 12V183TB32 diesel engines.

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Other stories from November 2002 issue


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