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ABS has experience with a wide range of naval vessels including non-nuclear combatants, high-speed naval craft, patrol vessels and all types of auxiliary ships. In addition to the US, we have worked with the Navies of nations across the globe including: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Oman, The Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa and others. We maintain engineering offices that specialize in naval vessel design review in Washington DC, Houston, Texas and Sydney, Australia.

We are able to provide continuity regarding the engineering aspects of certification. Our main objective is to verify that the design, construction and installation of systems, equipment and components will safely meet performance requirements.

ABS can offer more detailed analyses to meet specialized client needs. Our large corporate research and development team performs linear and non-linear hydrodynamic analyses, complete structural direct analysis, vibration analysis and spectral fatigue analysis (SFA) among others.

Under the ABS Naval Vessel Rules initiative, the Navy maintains its role as the technical authority. ABS functions as an independent certification agent and executes surveys in an autonomous manner.

Optional Notations for Naval Vessels:

Design & Construction 

  • CRC - compliance with the requirements for certification of cranes found in the ABS Guide for Certification of Lifting Appliances
  • DPS-1, DPS-2, or DPS-3 - the ship is fitted with dynamic positioning equipment which complies with
    requirements for safety and redundancy as required by IMO Class 1, 2 or 3
  • FL (years) - denotes a vessel's design fatigue life is in excess of the minimum fatigue life of 20 years. The (years) refers to the fatigue life equal to 25 years or more (in 5-year increments) as specified by the applicant
  • Ice Class A0, Ice Class A1, Ice Class 1A - ship complies with the ABS Rules for ice strengthening of ships navigating in first-year or multi-year ice or complies with the Finnish-Swedish Rules for navigating in the Northern Baltic in winter, respectively
  • Ice Class A5, A4, A3, A2, A1, A0, B0, C0 or D0 - ship complies with the requirements in the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Vessels Intended to Operate in Polar Waters
  • Ice Class I AA, I A, I B, I C - indicate that the vessel is suitable for navigating the waters of Northern Baltic in winter in accordance with requirements of Section 6-1-2 of the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels 
  • PARR-N, PARR-C1, or PARR-C2 - vessel complies with the ABS requirements specified in the ABS Guide for Assessment of Parametric Roll Resonance in the design of Container Carriers
  • R1, R1-S, R2, or R2-S - these notations address redundancy arrangements for propulsion and steering systems
  • RES - ship has been built in accordance with the procedure and critera for calculating and evaluating the residual strength of hull contained in the ABS Guide for Assessing Hull-Girder Residual Strength
  • SFA (years) - ship complies with the requirements of enhanced dynamic analysis for the fatigue life identified in parentheses in North Atlantic conditions
  • SH-DLA - ship complies with criteria for calculating and evaluating the behavior of hull structures under dynamic loading conditions and built in accordance with plans approved on the basies of the results of such analysis, in addition to full compliance with the other requirements of the Rules

Operational Safety

  • ACCU - ship has the means to control and monitor an unmanned propulsion-machinery space in an approved manner from the navigation bridge and from a centralized control and monitoring station installed in, or adjacent to the propulsion machinery space
  • COMF, COMF+ - ship complies with the ABS Guide for Passenger Comfort on Ships
  • HAB or HAB+ - ship complies with the ABS Guide for Crew Habitability on Ships
  • NBL, NBLES, NIBS - ship complies with the relevant section of the ABS Guide for Navigation Bridge Design and Equipment/Systems

Ship Management 

  • SEC - ship complies with the ABS Guide for Ship Security Notation


  • CSM - the continuous survey regime for machinery is applied
  • ESP - ship complies with the sepcified survey requirements for the Enhanced Survey Program contained in the ABS Rules for Survey after Construction
  • HIMP - ship complies with the ABS requirements for the Hull Integrity Management program
  • PMS - a planned maintenance scheume for machinery is applied
  • RCM (CARGO), RCM(FIRE), RCM (PROP) or RCM (MACH) - ship complies with the ABS Guidance Notes on Reliability-Centered Maintenance as it applies to cargo handling, fire extinguishing, propulsion or both firefighting and propulsion, respectively
  • TCM - ship complies with the requirements in the ABS Guide for Classification Notation Tailshaft Conditioning Monitoring
  • UWILD - ship meets the ABS requirements for underwater inspections in lieu of dry dock
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