The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has returned to International Paint for more of the latest fuel saving technology, Intersleek 900, for the hull of the UK Navy’s flagship ‘HMS Ark Royal’. She is the latest UK MoD vessel to benefit from Intersleek foul release coatings which can cut fuel consumption and reduce emissions.
As part of the Ark Royal’s Contractor Support Period at Portsmouth Naval Dockyard in the UK, the 20,600 ton Invincible Class aircraft carrier has had her underwater hull coated with our premium fluoropolymer foul release coating, a move estimated to cut fuel costs by as much as 9% and reduce the 1985 built vessel’s emissions by a similar margin.
Since Intersleek 700 was applied to the hull of the Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland in January 2005, no fewer than 18 UK Navy vessels have been coated with Intersleek foul release systems. Intersleek 700 has been applied to the hulls of four frigates and three recently built Type 45 destroyers whilst Intersleek 900 has been applied to a range of naval vessels including a Type 42 destroyer, six minesweepers, three new T45 destroyers, a helicopter carrier, a landing ship and a frigate.
The MoD’s adoption of latest generation hull coatings technology is a timely move. Emissions from international shipping are a contentious issue and one that is increasingly under the spotlight in the run up to the December UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Although it is merchant ship emissions which present the largest challenge – many of these are designed to burn the very heaviest grades of fuel – those in charge of the world’s navies are increasingly aware that they too have a role to play.
“We are delighted that the Ministry of Defence has chosen the latest generation hull coating, Intersleek 900, for HMS Ark Royal”, says Matthew Goodall, International Paint’s UK Navy account manager. “We already supply Intersleek 900 to a number of world navies which have confirmed substantial fuel savings, cuts in emissions and other in-service performance benefits. HMS Ark Royal is an icon and deserves the very best in coatings technology”.
Paul Scantlebury, Product Support Manager for BVT stated, “Foul release technology is a huge stride forward for underwater painting processes; it provides considerable cost savings over its life expectancy in both fuel and future docking plans. The technology also improves the cosmetic appearance of vessels due to its higher gloss, provides less wear on engines, better antifouling properties, is self cleaning and reduces overspray which saves on paint costs. One factor of this technology that is being promoted by BVT is the reduction of solvent levels which will assist us in maintaining the solvent reduction plan in accordance with local authority painting permits.”
HMS Ark Royal’s Commanding Officer, Captain John Clink said: As ‘a world class navy ready to fight and win’, the Royal Navy has a long history of seeking out new technologies to garner every possible advantage over our adversaries. Improved endurance is a key capability and I look forward to putting the new Intersleek coating through its paces as HMS ARK ROYAL returns to operational duties.’