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Successful transport and placement of submarine

Jumbo transported the submarine Ouessant S623 from Brest, France to Malacca, Malaysia. The 1,100t under water vessel formed a sheer challenge for Jumbo and its partners. A special framework had to be designed in order for the submarine to stay intact during lifting on and off Jumbo’s Fairpartner and during transport over sea and land. When loaded off the Fairpartner, Jumbo also took care of the transport over land. The submarine will become part of a local theme park, Melaka Eco Park.

Jumbo’s main challenge was not the weight of the 1,100t submarine, neither its shape. Submarines have a relatively thin and flexible outer hull. The space between the stiff and pressure-resistant inner hull and the outer hull is merely meant for storing ballast water. Connecting the lifting wires more or less directly to the outside hull, would have strongly damaged the submarine. 

In order to deal with this complex challenge, Jumbo made use of engineering partners. Delft University of Technology, engineering agency Saltwater and the French navy contributed to finding the best lifting and transport solution. In order for the submarine to stay in one piece the keel was located as the strongest point of the submarine’s outer hull. The design of the lifting frame which had to hold the vessel was based on the keel’s strength. The keel, however, was not the only element the framework had to be based on. The framework was to stay attached to the submarine, and therefore should also be suitable for transport over land; hence it had to fit the trailer which was going to transport it to its final destination.

The lifting with the two frames was successful; the crew on board Jumbo’s Fairpartner, the local authorities and the French divers cooperated very well. The lifting frames were placed exactly as engineered and the submarine was place on board for its voyage to Malaysia. 

Land transport
In Malaysia the submarine was loaded onto a barge. The port is to shallow for Jumbo’s Fairpartner to moor the actual port. A trailer is located on the barge on which the submarine will be transported over land. The submarine continued its journey to the theme park over a specially constructed road. 

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