A Southampton-based hovercraft manufacturer has landed one of its biggest ever deals.
Griffon Hoverwork in Woolston has signed a £25m contract to supply three passenger hovercraft to Japan.
The 12000TD craft is already used by Hovertravel between Ryde and Southsea.
The hovercraft will provide a passenger service connecting Oita Airport in Kunisaki with Oita City.
Work on the first hovercraft will start at the end of January, with the final craft set to be delivered to before January 2024.
The 23 metre long craft will carry approximately 80 people with a payload of 12 tonnes and a top speed of 45 knots.
Adrian Went, managing director at Griffon Hoverwork, said:
“Overseas clients continue to come to Griffon for the quality that we deliver. Our team are all very much looking forward to working with this latest esteemed customer and providing them with the latest British developed technology. Our work will also allow the restart of a dependable hovercraft passenger route serving the people and visitors of Oita.”
“The project will provide opportunities across the range of roles in our business, from graduate engineers, through to supply chain activity, to the complete range of marine workshop skills.”
Griffon Hoverwork Ltd has led the world in the technical development of hovercraft since their conception, patented by the English inventor Sir Christopher Cockerel in 1954.
From large to small, Griffon provide military, rescue, and commercial hovercraft built to class offering payloads between 380kg to 150 tonnes. They say their craft operate and are supported in over 41 countries across all environments with world leading organisations including the Canadian Coast Guard, the Colombian Navy and the United Kingdom’s Royal Marines.
By flying at high speed up to 1.8m over the ground the obstacles and shallows on the surface that restrict other vehicles can be overcome. They can take the most direct route to where they are needed with resources in high volume providing versatile, stable platforms for the protection of lives and delivery of objectives.