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A new concept in skid design from Saab Seaeye adds a powerful tooling capability to their technologically advanced Cougar XTi ROV.


It means that for Christmas tree installation and other work tasks a small electric ROV can be deployed in the support role rather than a large hydraulic work class vehicle.

The innovation behind the work skids concept is an electro-hydraulic modular power package that allows a ‘mix and match’ combination of powerful tooling to be used.

Skids fitted with an ensemble of work-scope tooling such as a class 1-4 torque tool, 350bar sea water hot stab, manipulators, and high-pressure water jet and rotary brush for complimentary cleaning work, now make it possible for a small ROV to undertake the tasks normally performed by an hydraulic work-class vehicle – but at a much lower cost.


Cougar XTi skid built for Aker Solutions with class 1-4 torque tool and single five-function manipulator with camera to deploy hot stab lance.


Cougar XTi skid built for Aker Solutions with dual five-function manipulators and cleaning brush with water jet attached.

And the recently launched Cougar XTi ROV has the pioneering architecture to absorb the work skid’s advanced technology ready for a range of demanding roles.

This is clearly illustrated in the support of Christmas tree installation and commissioning, where significant savings in vehicle utilisation can clearly be found.

Fitted with its new skid system, the Cougar XTi can readily fulfil the scope of work typically undertaken by the hydraulic work class vehicle that usually supports the primary work class ROV and commissioning module combination, during the Christmas tree installation.

After giving observation support to the interconnection procedure, the Cougar can undertake the other tasks of the support work class vehicle in the commissioning process, such as cleaning, operating valves and hot-stab work.

Whilst undertaking this work the operator has the added reassurance of a system that keeps the pilot in touch with the health of the ROV and warns of potential problems through a simplified Man Machine Interface (MMI).

Smart fault diagnostics give the pilot a clear interpretation of any problem and the remedial action to be taken, including the ability to remotely isolate the failed component and keep the ROV working.

Each on board device – thrusters, lights, tools, etc. – is managed through an intelligent three mode distributed plug and go control system. The first mode controls the device; the second provides the diagnostics; and the third is used for configuration.

Rated at 3000 metres, and with six powerful thrusters, the Cougar XTi is highly manoeuvrable and with its new thinner umbilical – down from a typical 32mm to 20mm – drag through the water is reduced, particularly in strong currents.

The thinner umbilical has also reduced the size of the drum and shrunk the launch and recovery system into a more compact solution.

A new autopilot system gives the operator more precise positioning of the vehicle by automatically holding depth and heading in much tighter parameters than ever before.

Saab Seaeye say the system will take on many work tasks normally undertaken by hydraulic vehicles, with considerable savings to operators.


The Cougar XTi can be fitted with a wide range of skid options.

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