Company News

Exercise Black Carillon 15

Exercise Black Carillon 15

Posted by Richard Varcoe

JFD and the Royal Australian Navy have completed a comprehensive submarine escape and rescue exercise off the coast of Western Australia. Over the course of four weeks personnel and equipment from both organisations were used to practice the plans and procedures in place to respond to a submarine in distress. During the Escape phase of the exercise, personnel from JFD escaped from a bottomed submarine whilst top-side support saw them rapidly recovered and treated. The Royal Australian Air Force used the opportunity to perform a casualty evacuation from Besant, the Navy’s newest submarine escape and rescue support ship.

During the rescue phase of the exercise, the ability to locate, mate and extract personnel from a bottomed submarine was exercised.

A video showing highlights of the exercise can be found on YouTube.

DiveX Merges With James Fisher Defence To Become JFD

DiveX Merges With James Fisher Defence To Become JFD

Posted by Grahamne Muir

In 2013 Divex Ltd. was acquired by James Fisher and Sons plc. The move brought together the quality and assurance for which we are renowned with the operational pedigree of James Fisher Defence.

Since the acquisition, the two companies have continued to trade under their own names. As of July, the trading name of both JF Defence and Divex has become, simply, JFD.

What does this mean for you?

Our service to new and existing customers will improve.

  • Our commitment to quality, safety and assurance will remain our top priority.
  • Our Research & Development programmes will continue at increased pace.
  • JFD will continue to offer the complete portfolio of Divex brand products.
  • The Divex brand will be maintained at the product level and will remain a mark of quality, reliability and innovation.
  • The range of products and services we offer you will increase.

Our relationship won’t change.

  • Our legal entity will remain Divex Ltd.
  • The terms and conditions of existing contracts are not affected.
  • There is no requirement for novation of contracts.
  • Our contact details, with the exception of our e-mail addresses, will remain unchanged.
  • The convention for e-mail addresses will be [initial].[surname]
  • You’ll continue to work with the same people; all of our employees are being retained.

We will continue to work from our existing offices and sites around the world.

Please feel free to contact us at any time if you’d like to discuss how this may affect you and your team. We thank you for your custom, and look forward to providing greater service in the future.

Many thanks
Debbie Allan

JFD Wins Prestigious NATO Submarine Rescue System Contract

JFD Wins Prestigious NATO Submarine Rescue System Contract

Posted by Grahamne Muir

26 May 2015

JFD, which was formed by the merger of James Fisher Defence and Divex in 2014, today announced that it has been awarded a £12.1m contract by the UK Ministry of Defence for the provision of the NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS). The five-year contract includes options through to 2023 and encompasses all aspects of operation and through-life-support.

JFD is a long-established operator of submarine rescue systems and has been an integral part of the UK’s submarine rescue provision since 1983. The company has been at the heart of NSRS since it came into service in 2008 as both operator and equipment manufacturer.

The service will be managed by JFD’s Submarine Escape and Rescue team in parallel with existing similar services for Australia and Singapore. Engineering and technical support will be provided by JFD’s Engineering Support Cell. Opportunities exist for shared training, cross-fertilisation of expertise, and commonality of approaches, which will serve to benefit the entire global submarine community. The existing Faslane-based team will augment the current JFD team, further bolstering its ability to deliver world class support to all of its customers.

JFD has a long term engagement with BMT Isis to set new standards in safety and environmental management. As part of this commitment, BMT Isis will undertake a safety governance role and the NSRS will be operated in accordance with JFD’s global Safety Management System. The National Hyperbaric Centre, recently acquired by JFD, will provide training course accreditation.

Mike Howarth, Managing Director of JFD, said:

“It is a source of great pride that the Participant Nations of the United Kingdom, France and Norway have entrusted the management of the NSRS to JFD. The contract recognises our unwavering commitment to the safety of submariners, and the diligence with which we deliver our existing services in Australia and Singapore.”

Cdr Dickie Randall, NSRS Programme Manager, on behalf of the NSRS Participant Nations, said:

“It is vital to the safety of submariners worldwide that the NSRS remains a fully-capable service delivered by skilled and experienced personnel. It is absolutely critical that we have a submarine rescue service that is not just fit-for-purpose, but also world class in its capabilities. We have been well supported in the assistance NSRS has received from industry since its inception in 2004 and a continued association with the proven capability of JFD bodes well for the future.”

Mike Howarth added:

“The decision to award the contract to JFD is testament to the breadth and depth of expertise within our global Submarine Escape and Rescue Team, and the scalability of our operations and support infrastructure.”.

Images used with the kind permission of Thomas Falk, RSwN.

Join us at LIMA

Join us at LIMA

Posted by Grahamne Muir

JFD, (Divex & James Fisher Defence) will be exhibiting at LIMA in Langkawi on 17 – 21 March.

We will be showcasing our capabilities in Submarine Escape, Rescue and Abandonment, Mine Countermeasures and Saturation Diving Equipment. Exhibition details can be found here.

You’ll find us on stand #B560.

For more information, or to make contact with one of the team, please contact Debbie on

We look forward to seeing you in Malaysia!



Posted by Grahamne Muir

Divex has been awarded a contract to supply the US Navy with their state-of-the-art diver communications system the HeliCom™ Matrix.

Divex, a subsidiary of James Fisher and Sons plc and a world leader in commercial and defence diving products, has received the order from the Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) through American partner, Chase Supply Inc.

To be used at their deep trials and training facility in Panama City, Florida, the HeliCom™ Matrix is a fully digital diver communication system that provides communications for the chamber complex and wet test chamber.  The client required a system where they could communicate with all personnel from one central system and were impressed with the large, easy to use, touch screen interface and how it could be tailored to suit their system.

Launched in 2010, the HeliCom™ Matrix is the first of its type; a helium speech unscrambling communication system which retains all of the original voice pattern to ensure clear, concise and intelligible communication is provided for divers operating in extreme depths and conditions. With improved speech intelligibility comes improved safety for the divers and this was a major contributing factor during the design phase.

Saturation divers use helium as the major component of the special breathing-gas mixture called heliox (a mixture of helium and oxygen).  One of the disadvantages of helium is the “Donald Duck” effect on the voice which complicates the communication process.  Early helium speech unscramblers created a lot of distortion which made it difficult for reliable diver communication.

The HeliCom™ Matrix achieves superior, crystal-clear diver helium voice communication through advanced DSP (digital signal processing) helium speech decoding techniques.  The helium speech from the pressurised divers and the chamber occupants are mixed in an audio mixer before decoding to the selected gas and environmental settings by a digital signal processing circuit (DSP).  This has been the key element of HeliCom™’s success – the clarity of speech irrespective of the depth the diver is working.

HeliCom™ Matrix is a step forward over existing implementations because of the incorporation of precise modelling of the translations introduced by the Heliox mixture on the human voice including both pitch and envelope distortion.  It has a high speech intelligibility level score, averaging 97% during modified rhyme tests at depths of up to 350metres depth – it is unrivalled in the field.

The HeliCom™ Matrix also offers automatic unscrambling which is unique to the Divex system.  This removes the need for user interaction to control the depth at which the unscrambler is operating, providing greater accuracy and ease of use.

Divex MD, Derek Clarke comments: “With the US Navy considered to be at the pinnacle of diving technology this win is very significant as it endorses the unique benefits HeliCom™ brings to diver safety and comprehension of voice communications which are key to diving operations.”

The Divex HeliCom™ Matrix was first installed in 2011 onboard the DSV Skandi Singapore where it continues to operate successfully with no issues or failures reported. The HeliCom Matrix is also to be installed onboard BP’s new Caspian Sea Subsea Construction Vessel, for which Divex have been awarded a multi million pound contract to provide a 300 metre depth, 18 man twin bell saturation diving system .



Posted by Grahamne Muir

Commendation awarded by the Royal Australian Navy for dedicated work, commitment and support for Exercise Black Carillon 2013.

Divex’s sister company James Fisher Defence (JFD), the leading global sub-sea operations and engineering company, has been awarded a special commendation from the Submarine Force Commander of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), as a result of their dedication and innovation demonstrated during Black Carillon 2013, a naval exercise conducted annually in order to test the capabilities of the Commonwealth’s submarine rescue provision. During the exercise, JFD and the RAN simulated a rescue from submarine HMAS Farncomb, bottomed in 112 meters of water off the east coast of Australia.

The commendation recognises the successful and professional delivery of the entire service and the challenges overcome to enable the athwart-ships deployment of the LR5 submarine rescue vehicle (SRV).

Black Carillon 2013 tested the entire capability of the James Fisher Submarine Rescue Service (JFSRS). In support of the headline requirement for a 36-hour simulated rescue and decompression of the entire submarine crew, the project included a significant logistics management element involving the deployment of the entire JFSRS by air and road, cross-country, from Perth to Sydney, a distance of some 3,950km.

To read the rest of this release please visit: JFD Commendation

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In 2015 James Fisher Defence and Divex merged to form JFD.

Today, JFD serves customers in 81 countries across six continents.

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