BAE Systems has announced the development of early warning technology designed to combat piracy at sea. The system will allow crews of commercial vessels to detect and identify ships and suspicious activity up to 25 km.
The range of device will allow the crew of the commercial vessel to take evasive action or signal to anti-pirate warships in the area, long before the pirates can actually threaten the targeted ship.
Nick Stoppard, Director of Solutions Development, said “Piracy is on the rise. Attacks in 2008 were double those of the previous year and there is a clear need for better methods to help commercial ships identify and evade pirates before an attack occurs. We have used our expertise in security engineering, technical analysis, systems design and integration to develop a layered defence system to improve the safety and security of ships and their crew.”
According to a press release issued by BAE Systems, the new technology incorporates the following:
- High Frequency Surface Wave Radar to detect small boats well beyond the horizon at up to 25km
- Panoramic Area Surveillance System 360 video camera and display system to provide visual identification. It includes movement detection and threat level alarms, with plans to incorporate infra-red
- Passive Radar Identification System (PRISM) to provide early warning of an unidentified radar carrying vessel
- Improved lighting to increase the likelihood of detecting intruders within the immediate vicinity of the ship at night and act as a deterrent