October 2, 2003

ABS inks accord with Navsea

ABS has signed a formal Cooperative Agreement with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). The agreement calls for joint development of ABS Naval Vessel Rules (NVR) to support the design and acquisition of Naval Combatant Ships and Craft.

The landmark agreement signed by VADM Phillip M. Balisle, U.S. Navy and ABS Americas President Robert E. Kramek lays the groundwork for ABS participation in Naval Combatant Ship Programs, in a similar fashion to ABS' traditional role in the construction of Military Sealift Command (MSC) operated ships.

According to Kramek, the strategic partnership created by this agreement broadens the working relationship between NAVSEA and ABS by allowing the class society to provide further technical support and guidance for the Navy's shipbuilding programs while allowing the Navy to focus its in-house engineering resources more fully on the higher risk, mission-related aspects of emerging U.S. ship designs.

The agreement addresses the following: technical authority, rule development and approval, rule maintenance and procedures for rules application on individual programs. These rules will provide the technical basis and authorization for ABS certification of selected ship systems and, where appropriate, will facilitate Classification of Combatant Ships by ABS as supported by public law. NAVSEA points out that technical authority continues to be retained fully by the Navy.

"ABS has been working with the US Navy for decades to combine prior naval experience with its existing approach to rule-making, merging naval requirements with commercial standards to produce stand-alone rules that are tailored to the needs of the military," says Kramek. In addition to the Naval Vessel Rules under joint development via this agreement, he adds that ABS is supporting the development of several innovative new vessel types through its High Speed Naval Craft Guide

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