Gibbs & Cox, Inc. Design Competition 2020

Our annual internal design competition challenges our employees to exercise their knowledge and creativity to explore new and innovative ideas to integrate into the maritime market.

This year’s design competition featured many unique and innovative Autonomy and Automation concepts. Our panel of judges was impressed with the diversity of ideas and the innovative thinking that our staff brought forward. The results of the competition were outstanding! Each presentation highlighted creativity within the marine market, which may ultimately lead to future business. The winning participants presented four unique and innovated solutions, each backed by solid engineering and professional presentations. Deciding a winner was no easy task.


Winning Entry

The Prion – A Deployable Persistent Surveillance USV

This year’s overall design competition winner is G&C Australia’s Managing Director, Levi Catton, with his concept, The Prion – A Deployable Persistent Surveillance USV. The Prion was the most innovative, advanced, and thoroughly presented concept this year and has the highest potential to be brought to market. Levi’s design concept is a deployable light USV for long-range, long-term autonomous surveillance missions. His design employs wave, solar, and wind power with battery storage to provide a reliable long-term minimum power generation profile to support enhanced persistence and assured availability of C4, surveillance and transit functions.

 The Prion is also intended to be employed in a highly distributed fleet to provide a wide area network of flexible, relocatable surface sensors, which requires minimal human monitoring and intervention. The design embodies currently available and operational technologies in a uniquely deployable and persistent package with very competitive affordability compared with other surveillance modalities. The persistent coverage and cost of surveillance can be improved by supplementing existing high cost asses with a low cost distribution of a USV fleet.


Most Creative

Solutions for Power Generation of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles

Electrical Engineer Kevin Bromberger, created an innovative design solution for power generation on an unmanned UUV glider. Truly self-reliant naval vehicles will require a level of self-dependence that extends beyond simple navigation and decision-making. The autonomous vessels of the future will need to possess the capability to carry out long duration missions without the need to be refueled and constantly maintained.

Power Generation is currently the largest limiting factor for long range UUVs. A fleet of UUVs capable of carrying out missions for months or even years will become vital for our ability to maintain both a forward presence and an advance understanding of the evolving naval landscape. As the development of UUVs expands the best option for optimizing power generation is leveraging recent advances in renewable energy. In his project, Kevin examined innovative solutions for autonomous power generation and consumption; underwater solar cells, Hydrokinetic power generation and variable-buoyancy propulsion.

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Most Practical

Small Adaptable Mother Ship Design Space Exploration

Senior Principal Naval Architect Pat Naughton presented the most practical concept for G&C Internal Research and Development (IRAD) incorporation; The Small Adaptable Mother Ship (SAMS) Design Space Exploration. Pat summarizes an early stage design space exploration for small, ocean-going, vessels optimized to serve as mother ships for automated and/or autonomous (A&A) small crafts through many facets. His research began by investigating the potential roles for Small Adaptable Mother Ship, Parametric Analyses of dimension and weights, investigating design constraints, and analyzing unique design features, particularly in way of powering and handling of organic overboard vehicles. Many NATO and allied navies are in need of replacing legacy Mine Countermeasure Vessels (MCMVs). SAMS outfitted with modular A&A systems can provide them with a relatively low cost, multi-use platform to take the place of multiple one-off or limited run specialized vessels.

Legacy MCMVs typically are specially designed low-signature/shock resistant/high-cost vessels that result in limited range and endurance. The use of A&A crafts can now allow MCMVs to stand off from immediate danger, as well as deploy unmanned crafts to detect and neutralize mine threats. One Mother Ship can be re-outfitted to preform different roles throughout its service life such as, research, law enforcement, and low intensity naval roles.

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Most Potential For Immediate Application

Autonomous Mine Warfare

Naval Architect Jonathan Hale developed an autonomous mine warfare concept with the most potential for immediate application. Jonathan’s focus began with the pressing need for the US to address and improve its current mine countermeasure (MCM) capabilities, because mines account for more damage to US ships than all other threats since 1945.

The limits of developing effective MCM lie not in the automation, but the need to deploy the platforms quickly, without risk to a larger, more valuable platform, and large enough quantities to mitigate loses. Jonathan’s solution is to employ platform airdrops and convert expeditionary sea base (ESBs) ships. The marine airdrops allow USVs to operate alone in contested waters until the mission is complete and keep the larger platform safe until given the all clear to recover the USV. Converting the ESB will need to accommodate 10-20 USVS, launch and recover systems, and refit armament for neutralization payloads. In order to mitigate losses and ensure confidence in success, enough MCM platforms will need to be deployed.

Gibbs & Cox, Inc. Issues Their Congratulations to Fincantieri Marinette Marine for Winning the US Navy’s FFG(X) Program

ARLINGTON, Va. – Gibbs & Cox, Inc. congratulates Fincantieri Marinette Marine for being awarded the FFG(X) Design and Construction contract by the US Navy.  As part of the Fincantieri Team, Gibbs & Cox will serve as the design agent on the program and will build upon their long standing partnership with the shipyard.

The contract, awarded Thursday, April 30th, includes the design and construction of the lead ship and the option to design and build up to 10 ships, as well as to provide post-delivery, class services, crew familiarization and training services.  According to the contract announcement, if all options are exercised, the cumulative value of this contract for the Fincantieri team will be $5.5B.

As the United States’ largest, independent Design Agent, Gibbs and Cox, Inc. is uniquely positioned to support the Fincantieri Team with the design of FFG(X).  Gibbs and Cox, Inc. has a 90 year history of designing vessels for the US Navy including former class of Frigates, the FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class, which served in the USN Fleet for over 30 years and remain in active duty with several ally nations today.  This will be the company’s 24th class of US Navy combatant designs.

“We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Fincantieri Marinette Marine and extend our partnership to a new class of ships” said Chris Deegan, Gibbs & Cox president and Chief Executive.  Gibbs & Cox also currently supports Fincantieri as the design agent for the LCS-1 Freedom Class and the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant programs.

Dario Deste, the Fincantieri Marine Group CEO remarked “We are excited to continue our long standing relationship with Gibbs and Cox and look forward to continuing to work with them on this exciting program.”

The Legion receives nod for World Superyacht Award nomination

DLBA Naval Architects is proud to announce that M/Y The Legion has been nominated for the World Superyacht Awards. Garnering a nomination in the Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts Below 500GT – 35M and Above category, 37.1 meter, The Legion will compete against a field of exceptional vessels when the illustrious awards take place in London this September.

The LegionThe DLBA team is responsible for the structural design, major equipment integration and foundations, hull lines, propulsion machinery, stability, anchoring system, and portlights of the yacht, creating an extensive design package. The Legion was built by Horizon Yachts for a third time yacht owner with specific, well-researched ideas about the vessel he wanted to build.

“We predicted a top speed of 23 knots and the boat achieved 24 knots,” says DLBA’s Jeffrey Bowles.

“It’s not often an owner takes delivery and the boat goes faster than he expected.”

A key requirement for the owner was a hull that delivered efficiency over long distances, with the ability to achieve bursts of speed into the semi-planing regime. After weight and performance estimates were developed, DLBA determined that a double chine hull form would best meet these needs. The double-chine hull allows for minimal resistance, provided increases transverse stability when operating in displacement mode at lower speeds, and provides improved seakeeping (ride quality) when operating as a semi-displacement hull at higher speeds.

RP110 World Superyacht Awards

This yacht is the biggest vessel to date for her owner, which allowed Horizon Yachts, and the project design team to bring the owner’s innovative spatial concepts and lifestyle requirements to life.

At the owner’s request, an extended swim platform was added, providing ample space for sunbathing and watersports, and visually elongating the yacht. Built of carbon fiber, it’s strong enough to hold the yacht’s tender, and hydraulically raises and lower to provide guests easy access to the water.

Designed to make the most out of the outdoor experience, The Legion’s expansive decks include a spacious flybridge with a jacuzzi big enough for ten, and space to entertain, as well as a forward bow seating area linked by walk-around decks connecting to an aft deck dining and bar area.

The RP110 model has been a great success for Horizon Yachts that can be attributed to the combination of elegant superstructure with the use of the double chine hull for excellent stability and seakeeping, as well as the minimization of drag for increased efficiency. A flexible layout, which lends itself to customization, further adds to the appeal of the RP110; a design DLBA is proud to see still going strong more than a decade after its creation.

The Legion was built to meet DNV High Speed Light Craft rules. In doing so, the DLBA team was able to leverage its body of experience designing other larger, high speed yachts to DNV Rules. We’ve been proud to see the success of this vessel on the water and are looking forward to seeing her compete for recognition in a field of cutting-edge yachts come September.

Watch a video about “The Legion” here: