Southampton hovercraft builder Griffon Hoverwork wins £25m Japan export deal

Client News

Southampton-UK based hovercraft manufacturer Griffon Hoverwork is celebrating after landing one of its biggest ever deals, worth more than £25 million, to supply three of its latest 12000TD craft to Japan.

The deal with the Oita Prefecture government will see the hovercraft providing a vital passenger service connecting Oita Airport in Kunisaki with Oita City, improving access and reintroducing a ferry route last used about 10 years ago.

Work on the first hovercraft will start at the end of January 2022, with the final craft set to be delivered to the customer before January 2024. The Griffon Hoverwork design team is working with the Japanese Government and Japanese suppliers to adapt the 12000TD’s design to local requirements. The 23.7m long craft will carry approximately 80 people with a payload of 12 tonnes and top speed of 45 knots (see notes to editors for full specification). It has proved to be a versatile and efficient passenger hovercraft, with the ability to transport high passenger numbers quickly and comfortably and has also been adapted to support critical NHS ambulance transfers.

Adrian Went, Managing Director at Griffon Hoverwork, said: “Overseas clients continue to come to Griffon for the quality that we deliver.

Griffon Hoverwork MD Adrian Went

“Our team are all very much looking forward to working with this latest esteemed customer and providing them with the latest British developed technology. Our work will also allow the restart of a dependable hovercraft passenger route serving the people and visitors of Oita.”

He added: “The project will provide opportunities across the range of roles in our business, from graduate engineers, through supply chain activity to the complete range of marine workshop skills.”

The deal is the latest in a series of export wins secured by Griffon Hoverwork, which has a history of designing and building hovercraft in and around the Solent area that spans more than 60 years. Earlier this year the company delivered two of its new 995ED craft to clients in Hong Kong and Estonia.

For further details contact Griffon: Tel: +44 (0) 23 8068 6666 email: 

Griffon Hoverwork 12000TD


Notes to editors

  1. Griffon 12000TD background

Griffon Hoverwork background

Griffon Hoverwork Ltd (GHL) is at the forefront of hovercraft development and has been involved in the manufacture and operation of hovercraft since they were first conceived, over 60 years ago working alongside the hovercraft’s inventor Sir Christopher Cockerell. The company has hovercraft in all five continents and supports over 200 GHL craft in more than 40 countries.

Privately owned by the Bland Group, Griffon Hoverwork has achieved strong growth; it relocated its main manufacturing facility from Hythe to Merlin Quay, Southampton UK at the beginning of 2011, in order to increase manufacturing capacity. The company now uses lean techniques to design and manufacture high quality hovercraft for practical applications.

In the commercial role, Griffon Hoverwork hovercraft are used around the globe for: survey work and civil engineering support, logistics and cargo carrying, passenger ferries, coastal, ice and airport crash rescue,  mobile medical clinics and outreach healthcare.

Griffon Hoverwork hovercraft are also in use by those responsible for national security and military operations, missions include:

  • coastguard functions
  • border patrol and surveillance
  • policing and customs duties
  • marine interdiction and infra structure security
  • weapons platforms, troop carriers and logistics vehicles

Griffon Hoverwork enables its customers to engage in tasks in some of the most diverse and inaccessible areas of the world, from the jungles of South America to the frozen seas of the Baltic and Arctic. Tasks include search and rescue, fisheries protection, pollution response, border security, river patrol, flood and airport crash rescue, passenger ferry operations, survey work, cargo carrying missions and littoral military operations. Due to the specialised nature of hovercraft, Griffon Hoverwork provide a complete support solution, from consultancy to in country commissioning, through to pilot and engineer training and have a dedicated through-life support team for spare parts, modifications, overhauls and occasional brokerage.

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