World-leading ROV manufacturer Sub-Atlantic has won a contract to supply a Comanche ROV system for scientific research in a deal worth just over £1m.

The specialist subsea vehicle will support the construction and maintenance of the MoLab -modular seafloor observatory unit at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Kiel University in North Germany.

The Comanche which is to be christened Phoca, German for seal, will join the existing IFM GEOMAR fleet of subsea equipment.

The 3,000m Comanche will complement the 6,000m rated work class ROV called Kiel 6000 which also operates using Sub-Atlantic thrusters.

It runs alongside an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) named Abyss.

The modular observatory is an innovative deep sea system that can be deployed globally and monitors several square kilometres of seabed over several months, gathering biological, chemical and geophysical data for a variety of important scientific projects using a suite of subsea sensors and sampling equipment.

Head of the MoLab project, Dr. Olaf Pfannkuche explained why they decided to buy the Comanche.

“The Sub-Atlantic Comanche was chosen for its reputation and impressive track record in a variety of challenging roles.

“Additionally, we see important synergies between Phoca and Kiel 6000 in commonality of components, maintenance and training.

Also, the compact nature of the vehicle, allows for deployment from smaller vessels.”

Sub-Atlantic general manager John Ferguson is delighted the Comanche is rapidly establishing a global presence.

“We are extremely proud to have been chosen to supply key equipment for this international project and honoured to be associated with it.

The Comanche ROV continues to prove its outstanding versatility and suitability to embrace a huge variety of tasks and projects in the harshest environments around the world.”