Singapore Civil Defence Force’s Major (MAJ) Landon Leong reviews the performance of the NERVA Ship Management System, and what he liked about working with the ST Engineering Marine team.

ST Engineering Marine’s NERVA Ship Management System (SMS) provides vessel crew with centralised control and monitoring of platform sensors and systems. Its design complies with the requirements of International Maritime Organisation and major classification societies, while quality is assured through the use of reliable marine-graded and type-approved commercial off-the-shelf products. In 2017, the NERVA SMS garnered a Certificate of Design Assessment from the American Bureau of Shipping.

More recently, the NERVA SMS has made waves as the “brain” on board the newly launched Red Sailfish, a highly specialised Heavy Fire Vessel (HFV) designed and built by ST Engineering Marine for the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). According to MAJ Landon Leong, Senior Marine Comms Officer from SCDF’s Marine Division, the NERVA SMS – or HFV Ship Control and Monitoring System (SCMS) as he calls it – has freed up precious manpower resources for more mission-critical tasks like firefighting and rescue. “This is because the SCMS has provided the ship crew with the ability to remotely monitor and control the vessel and its systems from a central position on the bridge.

“The ability to customise the SCMS to our needs has proven to be advantageous compared to an off-the-shelf solution as we are able to customise the system to our precise operational needs. Using the custom-built SCMS as a central tool for remote monitoring and control has allowed our users to have a complete overview of the numerous systems on board the HFV. It has also reduced the need for engineers to be in machinery spaces during operations.”

MAJ Leong was impressed that the SMS team was able to demonstrate in-depth understanding of SCDF’s unique needs and experiences, and design a user-friendly interface for the HFV SCMS. “With additional inputs from our design team and user group during the preliminary design review, critical design review and factory acceptance test, the SMS team further improved on the system’s logic and user interface effectively. They were competent and always willing to help resolve any issues that arose,” he added.

“I remember one time during a shipboard test, a problem was discovered with the power management system of the HFV, which disallowed the generators to be started. The SMS team was quick to rectify the issue and worked with the power management system vendor to resolve the system logic based on our sequence of vessel start-up. They also ran the SCMS through various start-up scenarios to ensure that the PMS would work as designed,” MAJ Leong recalled.

When asked what he liked best about the SCMS, MAJ Leong responded, “The user interface and design of the entire SCMS was very simple and easy to understand. Unlike other commercial SCMS, there is very little need for reference to manuals or vessel drawings to properly control the vessel!”