PALFINGER equips the world’s most advanced research vessel


OceanX recently launched a new, one-of-a-kind scientific research, media production, and exploration vessel – the OceanXplorer. With a range of tailor-made equipment, PALFINGER’s marine business is one of the major suppliers onboard the world’s most advanced research vessel.

It is all about the knuckle boom A-frame. “Our skilled engineers worked closely with the OceanX team so that all demanding requirements for handling their submersibles were met”, recalls Sverre Mowinckel-Nilsen, Sales Director of PALFINGER’s marine and handling solutions, the development of a 40T knuckle boom A-frame tailor designed for launch and recovery of OceanX’s Nadir and Neptune.

To ensure best handling of these two Triton submersibles as well as the autonomous free-swimming Remus, OceanX relies on solutions provided by PALFINGER.

The Most Advanced A-Frame

“In beginning of 2016 we were contacted by the OceanX team inviting us to design a state-of -the-art launch & recovery system for their submersibles to be used onboard”, says Sverre Mowinckel-Nilsen. The result has ended up being the most advanced A-frame ever installed onboard a scientific research vessel. Having an SWL of 40T, 20T in personnel lift modus, has given a A-frame covering all requirements from OceanX both now and for the future. The knuckle boom A-frame design provides a working area far better than any other conventional A-frame design, especially based on being able to reach fully into deck for service and maintenance.

To comply the A-frame delivery, PALFINGER has also delivered a 10T towing winch for use to tow the submersibles during recovery operations and a 10T Active Heave Compensated (AHC) emergency recovery winch. The AHC winch is capable of working down to 1,500-meter (4920 feet) water depths and will be used to recover the submersibles in case of emergency. For general cargo handling onboard, PALFINGER delivered a 30T knuckle boom offshore crane.

“Working closely with the OceanX team for this project has been a great pleasure. They know what they want, they just needed to find a supplier which could make the impossible possible”, says Mowinckel-Nilsen. Right now, the R/V OceanXplorer is on its maiden voyage to the Red Sea to study the global-warming-resistant super corals to be found in the region.

Diving Deep

Even though mankind has landed on the Moon and sent missions to Mars and other planets, the great unknown next door is right here, on Earth. It is the oceans of which 80% are still unmapped. Life below the seas surface remains almost as alien to us as the dark side of the Moon.

OceanX – a team of researchers, scientists and filmmakers – found new species, captured the first-ever footage of the elusive giant squid in its deepwater home and were the first to explore the deep ocean around Antarctica taking a sub 1,000 meters down. To continue their work and documentaries, a one-time petroleum support and survey ship has been completely retrofitted at Damen Shiprepair in the Netherlands into the most advanced exploration, research and media vessel ever built, the R/V OceanXplorer.

To get an impact of the OceanXplorer click here.


To the press release


PALFINGER is an international technology and mechanical engineering company and the world's leading producer and provider of innovative crane and lifting solutions. With over 12,600 employees, more than 30 manufacturing sites and a worldwide sales and service network of around 5,000 service points, PALFINGER creates added value from the challenges of its customers. PALFINGER is consistently continuing on its course as a provider of innovative, complete solutions that deliver increased efficiency and better operability, while leveraging the potential of digitization along the entire production and value chain. 

PALFINGER AG has been listed on the Vienna stock exchange since 1999, and in 2021 achieved record revenue of EUR 1.84 billion. In 2022, PALFINGER celebrates its 90th anniversary under the tagline “Celebrating the future since 1932”.  


Katja Pötsch | Head of Public Relations & Executive Communication | PALFINGER AG
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