The BHT 150 is the largest hovercraft to be manufactured in the UK since the 1970s, the 30.8m craft was recently delivered to South Korea for the Korea Coast Guard to be used in the Incheon region for border patrol, search and rescue and airport crash rescue.
The craft has a crew of 12 and can carry 188 passengers, in speeds in excess of 40 knots with a 1 m obstacle clearance.
The hovercraft is the most suitable vessel for the water conditions and environment of the Yellow Sea. The large area of shallow water and wetland is also liable to freezing in the winter months, making patrol of the coastline almost impossible with a conventional vessel.
The BHT is the eighth and largest hovercraft the Korea Coast Guard have ordered from Griffon Hoverwork, following a fleet of four 470TD's and three 8000TDs, the most recent purchased in 2012.
Managaing Director, Adrian Went is 'very proud of my team's achievement, for winning and delivering an export requirement to a country that is considered to be one of the World's manufacturing powerhouses. The BHT 150 Hovercraft built for the South Korean Coast Guard is a fantastic example of British engineering, not only is it the largest craft that Griffon Hoverwork have built but the largest built in the UK since the cross channel ferry craft of the 1960s and 70s. It will become a critical part of the South Korean maritime rescue and security capability'
The new BHT has two propulsion engines and two lift engines with an endurance range of up to 300 nautical miles, allowing the Coast Guard to complete long range duties without returning to base.
The craft will add to the Coast Guard's capabilities allowing it to patrol shallow water, sand banks and mudflats. It has also been specially designed to cope with the extreme temperatures that can affect the country, minimising craft down time.
Many Coast Guard authorities around the World operate Griffon Hoverwork craft, as their unique capabilities enable Coast Guard crew to perform their role far better than a conventional craft.
A hovercraft will patrol inland and shallow water areas around coastlines that are impossible to reach by boat, by simply hovering over mud, rocks or debris. This also allows the hovercraft to take the most direct route from A to B rather than being restricted to deep water areas.