SES-X Next frontiers in ASV 

Greener and smarter ship transport using air supported vessel technology by novel hulldesign and motion control system.
Smarter ships: Novel design of Air Cushion Vessels/Surface Effect Ships (SES) concept with hull integrated air cushion removing bag and skirt.
Greener ships: Up to 50% reduced resistance due to air cushion support.
Tested and verified technology: More than 2500 model test runs at SSPA; Two demonstration vessels are built.
IPR: Freedom to operate and patented concept in NO, EU, US, Asia.
Well proven technology patented: Offshore service vessel; High speed passenger transport; Military transport of crew and goods; Yachts. 
Surface Effect Ships (SES) or Air Cushion Vessels (ASV) by SES-X are supported by pressurized air integrated into the hull providing a greener and smarter ship concept
Novel hull design patented by SES-X revolutionize the surface effect ship (SES) concept enclosing the air cushion without skirt and air bag
70-80 % of the ship weight is supported by the air cushion reducing transit resistance and increasing ride comfort with reduced heave and pitch motions
For lager ships the air cushion support may be less still providing reduced resistance
A breakthrough in technology as SES-X has developed a solution eliminating skirt and air bag
The pressured air cushion chamber is enclosed by the hull and a controllable shock absorber interceptor. An lift fan located forward in the air cusion supply the air cusion chamber with pressurized air proving superior ride comfort and damping of the cobblestone effect.
2 Prototypes SES owned and operated by SES-X are built demonstrating the concept in full scale
2016, the world’s first 20 m and 30 knots fast battery powered carbon sandwich SES-X commuter ferry, 2 x 280 kW Volvo Penta propulsion, 40 kW Air fan, design Studio Sculli, construction Latitude Yachts, Latvia
2015, Tuco Soft Motion Demonstrator (Denmark), 18 x 5,2 m crew carbon sandwich transfer ferry was demonstrated, powered by 2 diesel-driven Volvo Penta IPS 600 pod drives (2 x 320 kW) operating at 37 knots.
Greener and Smarter: Significant cost savings (up to 50%) in transit operations.
At a speed of 25 knots, the all inclusive (propulsion and lift fan powering) consumption was only 3,0 liters / NM, at 30 knots speed - only 3,3 liters/ NM
   Airflow in to fan
   Airflow from fan to ship hull
The patented hull technology allows scalable ship designs that follow traditional building and maintenance principles from small to large vessels.
Extensive model testing at SSPA, Sweden has contributed to the development, test and verification of the hull technology and design principles for a series of ship concepts
Unique and well proven technology
More than 2500 model tests are carried out at SSPA (Sweden) optimising, testing and verifying several designs
Full scale prototype, Tuco Soft Motion on 12 m with diesel-driven propulsion tested and verified in 2012
Full scale prototype, BB Green on 20m with fully battery-driven propulsion tested and verified in 2014
Unique and well proven technology
More than 2500 model tests are carried out at SSPA (Sweden) optimising, testing and verifying several designs
Full scale prototype, Tuco Soft Motion on 12 m with diesel-driven propulsion tested and verified in 2012
Full scale prototype, BB Green on 20m with fully battery-driven propulsion tested and verified in 2014


ASV innovations are results of painstaking efforts, with a goal to develop next generation of capable hull forms & - technology for vessels and ships.

Environmental aspects, operational capabilities and economy in use have been key drivers.

Whereas competing technologies are throttling back to achieve acceptable efficiency, ASV’s persistently insist to keep the pace up. 

The new ASV technology is made for the 21st Century.

With kind support from European Union, Norwegian Research Council, Innovation Norway, Vinnova and leading companies and institutions in the international maritime community, SES-X and subsidiary SE have transferred innovative ideas, to tangible designs with proper scientific documentation and proof of concept.

To stay in the technological forefront, SES-X invests considerable resources into research, development and optimization activities.  Research results and ASV know-how are adapted to new applications all the time. A few of the latest ASV designs / applications:

    -   ASV Commuter Ferry – 35 knots – operated on battery power only. 
    -   ASV Fast Landing Crafts – 35– 40 knots – unique beaching capabilities.
    -   ASV Fast and efficient Offshore Support Vessels (OSV) and crew boats – multiple advantages. 
    -   ASV Single and twin Pod Propulsion hull forms – consuming less than half of the rivals.
    -   ASV Environmental Friendly Fast Ferries. Innovation Norway project.


What makes the ASV concepts so fascinating is the sheer variety of designs and applications that can benefit from the SES-X ASV technology.

Within several of the market segments SES-X has ASV variants ready for exploitation; or concept suggestions available. Please contact us for more information on ASV solutions under the following vessel main- and sub-categories:

- ASV commercial vessels

- ASV pleasure boats and yachts

- ASV navy and paramilitary crafts

- Large Air Supported Vessels and Ships

ASV Commercial Vessels

ESI has available a wide range of ASV designs for commercial crafts - mono- and multihull ASV’s, designed for:

  • A wide range of uses / applications – to mention only a few: Water busses, fast ferries (passengers and car), crew boats and offshore utility crafts, express cargo, wind mill service crafts, harbor control etc.
  • Different vessel sizes (with length from 12 m upwards to 150 m and more)
  • Different operational speeds (from medium to ultra fast)
  • Different operational conditions / sea states - hull shapes adapted to use and operational conditions
  • Different construction materials (carbon, GRP, aluminum and more), displacements and payloads
  • Adapted to a wide range of propulsion systems ( Water jet, pod propulsion, SPP and more)
  • Development of the first ever high speed ASV commuter ferry with battery electric (Zero emission) starts in these days. Low wake wash and 30 – 35 knots – a new breed of waterborne transport. (3.1 mill Euro EU 7th Framework project BB GREEN).

We are pleased to discuss your requirements and propose suitable ASV technology. In case the best solution is not within our stock of readymade hull designs, we are prepared to tailor make highly efficient and capable designs based upon your wish list. For illustrations only a few of our ASV designs are presented on these websites.

ASV Navy and Paramilitary crafts

Key ASV features include – market leading high efficiency, ultra high speed capability, excellent high speed load carrying capability, hulls for soft motion and enhanced onboard comfort in a sea state, significantly increased medium / high speed range, safe and stable platform

A few applications:

  • Fast combat boats with ASV technology and speeds in excess of 50 - 60 knots (20 m ++) – ASV mono- and catamaran hull form alternatives
  • Larger fast coast guard / patrol vessels
  • ASV highly capable Landing Crafts (30 m and 40 knots) to replace existing 12 knots World War 2 outdated crafts
  • Construction : GRP and/or carbon only, aluminium and steel reinforced aluminium
  • Hull form optimization and capability predictions in collaboration with SSPA Sweden

Breaking news: ASV Landing Crafts – Collaboration project between Effect Ships and Damen Schelde Royal Shipbuilding. Next generation fast and capable Landing Crafts.

Large Air Supported Vessels and Ships

The patented ASV technology and principles may be used on a wide range of vessels – including large commercial crafts and ships of both mono- and multihull configurations.

Tank testing and manned model testing, verification and data documentation has been carried out for vessels of 125 m and more in length. Designs also for larger crafts.

SES-X will shortly increase their R&D activities with focus also on large merchant vessels, including cruise ships, tankers, bulkers and container vessels.

Resulting hull forms will be suitable for both commercial and navy ships.


With the diversity of the ASV designs and types; and their widespread applications, a main challenge for the ASV team is to design and adapt each individual vessel to the operational conditions and to tick as many boxes as possible on owner/operators “wish list”.

Whereas nice onboard motions, securing healthy passenger comfort, is a key driver for most passenger vessels, high speed capability, combined with improved range, will be requested from the navy- or paramilitary vessels. For pleasure boaters a good combination of operational economy, speed, space and handling are often requested.

Key benefits for ASV’s include:

  • Market leading efficiency
  • Reduced wake wash (important in sheltered waters)
  • Safe handling with reduced motion (air cushion damping)
  • Market leading transport efficiency and excellent operational economy


The acquisition cost of an ASV is competitive with a conventional vessel.

The remarkable low ASV hull/water resistance enables use of reduced size engines, resulting in a vessel consuming much less fuel pr nautical mile and/or ton transported / passenger carried. Back to back comparisons with ASV monohulls vs. conventional designs have shown a reduction in consumption at 25 – 30 knots speed (20 m vessel) of 50 %! (Tests published in Motor Boat and Yachting, February 2011).

ESI is of the opinion that any vessel can be further improved by combining complementary State of the Art technologies. Combining high efficiency propulsion, lightweight construction and outfitting; with ASV hull technology, remarkable reductions in fuel consumption are within reach.

Tank testing carried out at SSPA with the latest ASV Mono hull (January 2012) documented hull resistance values below State of the Art planing hulls at all speeds, from 10 knots up to 50 knots + (in a 20 m scale). Typically the ASV hull resistance was only 50% of the best conventional bench mark.

From a maintenance point of view the ASV’s are robust and straightforward in design and construction with low complexity and maintenance cost.The second hand value of an ASV is expected to be superior to a conventional vessel.


Scientific documentation of fuel consumption for the first full scale ASV Mono test vest vessel has shown a
staggering 50% reduction compared with the market leading conventional vessels of same size and weight.
These values have been confirmed in the SSPA towing tank (January 2012) where the Zero emission ASV
commuter ferry hull was tank tested (EU project BB GREEN.)

Reducing the consumption to half is equivalent to reducing the emissions by 50%

Another benefit is a significant reduction in wake wash, enabling ASV’s to operate at high speeds,
without disturbing the seabed, in coastal, congested waters where conventional vessel will have to slow down.
Reduced wake wash is key success factor for the BB GREEN project - the first battery powered fast
ASV commuter ferry.

The unique BB GREEN vessel will be able to operate at 30 knots + speed, with no emission, securing energy
to the battery from sustainable energy sources (hydro, wind or solar power).