10 percent or more of the mercantile tonnage transiting the Gulf of Aden and
Indian Ocean now carrying armed security teams as protection.
Technology to the Rescue
Whether or not armed guards are used on ships, onboard piracy countermeasures are definitely still a critical part of keeping a ship and its crew as safe as possible as outlined by the IMO and in the newest BMP4 (“Best Management Practices for Protection Against Somalia-Based Piracy”), a 95-page booklet produced by a consortium of leading maritime groups and released in August. A new autopilot system on the market is proving to be of benefit.
"Early warning is still the best tool against attackers," says Louis Chemi, COO of Navico Americas, a holding company for Simrad Yachting. "With the new Simrad Yachting Autopilot AP70 and AP80 systems, the master can, with one button push, access an ‘S’ turning pattern that will automatically perform all the necessary tasks simultaneously while he/she attends to other matters. The system also allows the master to change course as normal for safe navigation, but without reducing the impact of the evasive maneuver."
Additionally, Simrad Yachting's ARGUS radar system goes one step further than standard navigational radar. It uses several navigational high-resolution, high-gain radar antennas together with the unique Simrad broadband radar to separate, for example, a mother ship from the small target skiffs, with the ability to follow them up to two meters from the broadband antenna, thereby eliminating blind zones around the ship.
Read the full article in the September / October 2011 issue of The Maritime Executive
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Learn more about Simrad ARGUS Radar
4th Oct 2011