The aim of the paper is to describe an industrial-academic collaboration whose main goal is the design of a new escort tug family characterized by high intact/damage stability margins, good maneuvering capability and stable behavior during escort indirect assistance.

The project addresses three main research areas: hydrodynamic design of the hull with escort capability, simulation of the escort capabilities in different operational scenario, development of control logics that will allow autonomous or unmanned operations.

The paper describes the methodological approach adopted for the design and will show some preliminary results.

The results refer to the first part of the project. CFD calculations and towing tank tests have been performed onto a prototype tug hull in order to assess the hull design and to infer simulation models able to describe the behavior of a family of vessels. In particular, the propulsion and maneuverability aspects in escort operations are deeply investigated.

Results of the project will form the bases for the conceptual application to a remotely controlled or autonomous escort tug.

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