NAMJet Waterjets the key to Antarctic Barge Success

Birdon owned subsidiary NAMJet has supplied its signature waterjets to support the Australian Antarctic Research Program.

Australia’s new Antarctic icebreaking research and supply vessel, RSV Nuyina is expected to embark on its first voyage to Antarctica next year. Two purpose-built aluminium landing barges will work alongside Nuyina and provide ship to shore transit of provisions and equipment stores to support the Australian Antarctic program.

At 16 metres long with a full displacement of 80 tonnes, the barges have been dubbed the “workhorses” of the Antarctic by the Australian Antarctic Division. Given their weight, key considerations in the design phase were the speed, propulsion and manoeuvrability of the barges.

A competitive tender process to supply the propulsion system resulted in the selection of NAMJet, based on its “reputation of high thrust water jets, uncomplicated construction and durability in arduous conditions”.

Each barge is fitted with 2 x NAMJet TJ610HT waterjets. The barges completed sea-trials in Tasmania after an 18-month fabrication period by Australian company Taylor Bros where NAMJet waterjets far exceeded the contractual requirements.

NAMJets allow the barges to maintain a speed of 8 knots at full load in the extreme Antarctic conditions of minus 3 degrees Celsius with winds of up to 50 knots. With NAMJets the barges achieve unrivalled manoeuvrability, significant fuel savings, and an extended life for the machinery and main engines.

A spokesperson for the Commonwealth Government of Australia confirmed they are “very happy with the outcome”.

The team at NAMJet are proud that our waterjets will be contributing to Australia’s scientific research program in both the sea ice and the open waters of Antarctica.

About NAMJet

NAMJet is a marine waterjet propulsion company based in Denver, USA, and setting new standards in thrust, durability and innovation for the marine propulsion market. NAMJet was acquired by Birdon America in 2011 and moved production to Denver in 2014.