Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri’s company Vard Marine has received approval in principle (AiP) from Lloyd’s Register (LR) for its Vard 7 125 offshore patrol vessel (OPV).

According to Vard Marine, LR is the first classification society to award AiP for this next-generation patrol vessel.

The vessel has completed an appraisal of the design in line with the LR rules and regulations for the classification of naval ships as well as International Naval Safety Association (INSA) Naval Ship Code.

Vard 7 125 design includes LR notations – 100A1 NS2 Offshore Patrol Vessel, SA1, LMC and PSMR.

The approval from INSA and LR further provides the assurance that the OPV’s design is safe and fit for the purpose, claimed Vard Marine

LR Americas Marine and Offshore president Kevin Humphreys said: “LR is delighted to have been selected as the first company to provide AiP for this vessel, the most modern variant of a very successful series of naval ships by Vard Marine.”

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Vard 7 125 OPV’s design is based on the Vard Series 7 OPV reference vessels.

The 125m-long vessel can be used for various military and maritime missions and is either offered as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) or a general purpose (GP) variant.

The enhancements in the vessel include reduced acoustic, magnetic, and infrared signatures, minimised radar cross-section, an upgraded weapons and sensors package, nuclear/biological/chemical defence and improved damage control and survivability.

All the enhancements are in accordance with the military stability standards.

Vard Marine Business Development vice president Derek Buxton said: “With our proven track record in the OPV segment, and LR’s pedigree with naval programmes, we are delighted to be working together in developing this enhanced product.”