Mexeflote pontoons 01

Mexeflote for Interim AOR

12 Sept. 2016. Over the summer, Chantier Davie Shipyard invited suppliers to present disaster-relief equipment available for the ship. Refueling and resupply of warships at sea are the main roles of the interim AOR, however, the June 28 meeting was to expand the ship's humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities.

The Point-class ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary carry pontoons for mexeflotes rafts on the deck of the ships. The ship's crane is used to lower the pontoons into the water, where the units are coupled together to form powered rafts. The mexeflote raft can transfer 60 tonnes of supplies from ship to shore in one trip.

The interim AOR has a container bay and two deck cranes. The ship will also carry light craft for transferring people and supplies, but nothing with the heavy lift capacity of the mexeflote. The loading ramp of the mexeflote allows vehicles and supplies to be off-loaded on the beach where port facilities don’t exist or have been damaged by a natural disaster.

A mexeflote raft on the interim AOR could operate with British or Australian mexeflote rafts in a disaster zone. A search of the web will find in 2015 the mexeflote was used in many training exercises and a few disaster relief operations. The mexflote pontoons and azimuthing thrusters are commercially available which could shorten procurement time.

If the mexeflote expertise and training of the British army were made available, it is possible a team could be ready to sail on the AOR and operate the mexeflote raft in September 2017.

Yours truly,  Garry N

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