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Vestdavit appoints Australian naval service partner

RAN Armidale-class OPV equipped with Vestdavit PLAR-4500 davits
RAN Armidale-class OPV equipped with Vestdavit PLAR-4500 davits

Norway-based boat handling system and specialised davit supplier Vestdavit has appointed Australia’s Hydraulink NT as service partner for Australia, building on a successful long term contract to supply the Royal Australian Navy with highly capable davits for its fleet of Armidale-class offshore patrol vessels.

The appointment was confirmed at a meeting today at Vestdavit’s Bergen offices, attended by Stuart Kenny and Greg McKechnie, Hydraulink NT directors, and a delegation from Australia’s Northern Territory, led by Robert Knight, Minister for Defence Support.

Rolf Andreas Wigand, managing director, Vestdavit, says, “When we supplied the Royal Australian Navy with the quickest and safest way possible to launch and recover boats from their offshore patrol vessels we didn’t just supply well thought out engineering. We supplied a lifetime commitment to keep the equipment in the best operational condition. For that we need a high quality-engineering and hydraulic partner with expertise in servicing top-level machinery in rugged environments. I’m delighted we have found that in Hydraulink NT. We expect to build on this relationship as demand grows in the region for safe and effective means of handling boats at sea.”

Minister Robert Knight says, “Keeping our long coastline safe is a big task, and our navy deserves the best equipment and the best support. This agreement brings together the quality engineering and boat handling expertise of Vestdavit and the experienced team of fluid power systems technicians and engineers of Hydraulink NT.

“This builds on our government’s continued commitment to supporting Territorian business in the defence industry. This partnership between Hydraulink NT and Vestdavit will deliver safety and increase the Navy’s operational effectiveness by ensuring they can launch and recover boarding craft from the Armidale Class Patrol fleet as they patrol our northern shores.”

Stuart Kenny, Hydraulink NT director, says, “We know how demanding the RANS is on operational effectiveness, and we know how tough the environment is in which they work. Vestdavit has supplied a great system for their boats, and we are delighted to work with them to service the equipment and extend Vestdavit’s reach in this part of the world.”

Vestdavit has supplied 28 purpose-designed PLAR4500 davits for the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of 14 Armidale Class offshore patrol vessels. Each davit can safely launch and recover an eight metre Zodiac fast boarding craft in seas up to 4 metres height. Additionally, Vestdavit has supplied 16 PLA 2000 davits to the Australian Customs for their patrol boats and 8 lightweight aluminium davits for the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Today Vestdavit has service partners in Brazil and South Africa and agents in the USA, Australia, Spain, UAE, Germany, Singapore and South Korea.

“Our davits are incredibly robust and work reliably for long intervals without service. But we recognise that what we sell is not a just boat system, but rather operational effectiveness. Offshore work and offshore security depends on getting boats away at sea, and the davits must work under all conditions. So our systems deserve and need support from local trained partners with skills and inventory to react rapidly to keep the system in the best condition. That is why we are expanding our global network and we will be training and appointing further services partners in different areas globally soon,” says Wigand.

Hydraulink NT has been designing, making and servicing hydraulic fluid management systems for many years. Its team of fluid power systems technicians and engineers are amongst the most experienced in Australia, with demonstrated successes across a broad range of applications in defence, mining, oil and gas and marine industries. Hydraulink NT’s expertise is in design, manufacture and installing quality fluid power systems that require a high degree of expertise, backed-up with extensive and diverse hands-on application experience.