MEMBER NEWS: JFD successfully completes NSRS Golden Arrow exercise

February 11, 2022
MEMBER NEWS: JFD successfully completes NSRS Golden Arrow exercise

JFD, the world leading underwater capability provider serving the commercial and defence diving markets, and part of James Fisher and Sons plc, successfully completed a comprehensive submarine rescue exercise to mobilise the NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS). The exercise, titled Golden Arrow, was the first deployment of the whole rescue spread since September 2019 and the first sea deployment of the new fibre optic video and voice communications network upgrade developed and installed by JFD.

Golden Arrow took place following embarkation at King George V docks in Glasgow and operating within the waters off the west coast of Scotland vessel SD Northern River. The full Rescue system was deployed including the Submarine Rescue Vehicle (SRV), Portable Launch and Recovery System (PLARS) and Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) systems.

This was the first sea deployment of the new fibre optic communications system developed by JFD. The system provides video communications between the MOSHIP Submarine Rescue Vehicle and the DISSUB. Golden Arrow successfully demonstrated the capability of the system between the vessel and the SRV providing clear video and voice communications between the MOSHIP and the SRV with the capability for communications down to 610m. This innovation allows submarine safety communications and the ability to pass vital information during rescue scenario clearly, giving the Rescue Element Commander, Medical Officer and Dive Supervisor eyes on interaction with Disabled Submarine (DISSUB) survivors.

Cdr Chris Baldwin, NSRS Operations Officer at the Submarine Delivery Agency:

“Exercise GOLDEN ARROW 2021 enabled the NSRS team to return to its programme of rescue exercises after the interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Participation in such exercises ensures the teams operating the capability have practiced procedures and can operate effectively in the event of an operational submarine rescue situation anywhere in the world. The NSRS Operations Group, comprised of French, Norwegian and British naval and JFD contractor personnel, successfully completed the exercise objectives demonstrating the unique benefits of this Government owned Contractor operated capability”.

Richard Dellar, JFD Managing Director, commented:

“Not only was Golden Arrow yet another successful NSRS exercise executed by the JFD team during challenging circumstances presented by COVID, it also provided the first opportunity to deploy at sea the new fibre optic communications system. This system provides a step change in capability for NSRS, which is now the only rescue system in the world with a continuous fibre optic link back from the SRV to the MOSHIP.

Exercise Golden Arrow once again demonstrated JFD’s ability to safely plan, manage and execute a complex large scale at sea deployment to the satisfaction of our customers in France, Norway and the UK.”

In addition, the exercise provided the opportunity to prove the competence of the JFD personnel who are responsible for providing 24/7 rescue readiness of the NSRS, giving peace of mind for the UK, French and Norwegian Navies and the wider global submarine community.

Regular submarine intervention and rescue exercises are essential for ensuring equipment and personnel are able to respond effectively in the event of a submarine accident, and in as little time as possible. This becomes the ninth successful vessel based rescue exercise for JFD throughout the course of operating NSRS, reinforcing its responsibility in assuring the operations team is fully trained in all aspects of a safe rescue.

The initial five-year contract for the provision of the NSRS by the MOD was extended to 2023, demonstrating the customer’s confidence in JFD’s ability to operate and maintain the system, which encompasses all aspects of NSRS operations and through-life-support. As part of this agreement, JFD continues to work with the authority to develop the system ensuring the highest safety standards are always achieved.

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AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

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Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

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The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

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