August 2004

Successful market launch of the new SPJ 55 MR-type Pump-Jet for military applications

Since the mid-90s, SCHOTTEL has improved the Pump-Jet series, using ring diffuser technology, to the SPJ RD series. One of the main objectives here was to increase the bollard pull by approx. 15% with the same input power.

In 2002, we decided to to increase the power of the SPJ 55 M (i.e. the military variant of the SPJ 57), once again by developing an RD variant. This self-financed development project was successfully completed in 2003 with a comprehensive series of tests, with the intensive support of the German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB), the Bundeswehr Technical Centre for Engineer and General Field Equipment (WTD 51) and the relevant departments of the German armed forces.

The predicted power increases were impressively confirmed during extensive testing with the M-Boot 3 and a German Army M3 amphibious vehicle. The BWB explicitly confirmed that the SPJ 55 MR (as this new variant is officially called) is suitable as a successor to the SPJ 55 M and thus approved for use in the German armed forces.

Immediately after the successful completion of the trials with the M-Boot 3, the Australian firm BIRDON MARINE based in Port Macquarie, NSW, ordered two SPJ 55 MRs for the prototypes of a newly-developed bridge erection and propulsion boat (BEPB). Before this, the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) had already included a binding requirement for this shallow-water propulsion system in their Tender Specifications.

Meanwhile, the trials of the Australian BEPB have also been successfully completed, with no need for modifications to the SPJ 55 MR. The ADF authorized the second procurement stage in April 2004. This includes the building of 23 further BEPBs. We have received a firm order for systems for 23 boats, i.e. 46 SPJ 55 MRs. The first ten propulsion units were supplied at the end of June 2004.

SCHOTTEL also received an order from longstanding partner GDSBS Kaiserslautern (formerly Eisenwerke Kaiserslautern EWK) to supply thirteen systems, i.e. 26 propulsion units, for the M3 amphibious vehicle. All in all, in the first year after completion of development, contracts were signed for a total of 74 of the new SPJ 55 MR shallow-water military propulsion units.