Key role for Lloyd's Register as technology & regulations evolve
Warship Technology: January 2019
As the regulatory regime for naval ships moves towards the Naval Ship Code model, Lloyd’s Register (LR) is aligning its Naval Ship Rules towards the same goal-based structure to address how risk can be better managed. In particular, it says the careful use of class knowledge and process for a vessel can be used to provide a more efficient solution to the common naval requirement for a safety case to be constructed either for the ship as a whole or for a particular system.
Earlier in 2018, the largest warship to be built in Britain, the 65,000tonne aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth (QEC), was officially welcomed into LR class in a ceremony in Portsmouth dockyard. Nick Brown, LR Marine & Offshore Director, presented the class certificates to the ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Kyd.
The classification society has been part of the QEC project since its inception, providing a high level of support, guidance and approvals to help meet the Royal Navy’s goal to design and build a safe and reliable platform to serve the UK for the next 50 years. The technical challenges associated with the design and construction of such a complex ship engaged a wide range of technical skills and experience within LR.
Many LR surveyors and specialists have worked directly on the surveys of the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier under its Naval Ship Rules. A number of other LR specialists have also been involved with the design approval, specialist technical support and certification of equipment and components.
Mark Dannatt, Project Director for the Queen Elizabeth class carriers, said: “Securing LR Class for HMS Queen Elizabeth is the culmination of 12 years of joint working between LR and the ACA. The utilisation of LR’s vast experience to assure the design and construction standard of the QE class has been of tremendous benefit to the Ministry of Defence and gives us increased confidence for her safe and reliable performance in the decades to come.”
Brown said: “HMS Queen Elizabeth was recommended for entry into LR Class earlier this year  and was issued with certificates from LR and the Naval Authority. This is a major milestone in the project and effectively the ship’s licence to operate for decades to come on the high seas.”
LR’s Naval Business Manager Paul James said: “Many people in LR have contributed to this project; including our structures team influencing the complex design, the site teams ensuring consistency across multiple locations, the technical investigation team providing support to the shaft line design, as well as other specialists across the globe ensuring equipment compliance and many in the UK supporting sea trials.”
LR made a significant contribution to the design, integrity and reliability of the ship and will stay with the vessel for the next 50 years, providing a unique service as part of the waterside support team ensuring smooth daily operation and planning for cost effective and efficient future maintenance and upkeep periods. This will be in addition to the society’s usual year-round service for periodical class and statutory surveys and inspections, for continued compliance and safety.
LR continues to support BAE Systems by applying classification principles to the supply chain of the Astute class submarines for the UK Royal Navy. Applying its knowledge and experience to provide robust, objective evidence to support the assurance that the design intent is met has further helped reduce the re-work and subsequent programme delays that this can cause.
More recently, in November 2018, LR became the first classification society to be assigned Recognised Organisation (RO) status by the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND). LR is now authorised to survey Halifax class vessels and undertake combatant certification activities in key hazard areas of the Naval Ship Code.
The DND assessed LR’s ability to execute certification duties on behalf of the Naval Materiel Regulatory Authority (NMRA) for Combatant Naval Vessels through a three-day verification audit. LR successfully demonstrated the requisite competencies and was awarded RO status by Captain (Navy) Jacques Olivier of the Naval Materiel Regulatory Authority, with authorisation to survey Halifax class frigates and future Canadian surface combatants.
In 2018 LR also announced it had taken over the management of UK Ministry of Defence-owned Code for Steel Caissons, providing a harmonised standard for new and existing caissons. LR has been certifying caissons for the Ministry of Defence for many years. Principally certification has been based on LR endorsing design, scantlings and build quality against the LR Rules and survey requirements along with the 1997 ‘Code for Steel Caissons.’
Following the announcement that the Ministry of Defence no longer wished to own and manage the Code it asked LR look at how it could be incorporated into their rules. Consequently, LR has been looking at the most effective way of building a flexible and robust product to offer caissons classification for the future, incorporating the tenets of the code as well as the society’s expansive expertise and service experience with this technology.
Through the introduction of caisson classification into its fully supported product portfolio, LR will be able to offer a flexible and tailored goal-based classification solution to caisson designs and support them throughout life. LR will continue to develop and refine its approach to classing caissons, endorsing those structures built in line with the Code and surveyed to be of appropriate build and material quality.