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Systematic’s live antipiracy demonstration attracted a good deal of attention at NAVDEX 2011. Twice daily, a pirate vessel simulated a realistic attack. A maritime boarding team deployed from Britain’s HMS Pembroke in a twin-hull aluminium craft from Finnish company, CatGroup, to take control of the fast-moving situation.
The boarding party demonstrated the full capabilities of the SitaWare maritime boarding system that not only gives them full tactical awareness, but also data communications via Inmarsat with the command vessel and the ability to gather and record evidence.
The demonstration attracted much attention from international visitors and VIPs from the UAE, including the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Systematic’s SitaWare maritime boarding system is a backpack-based system, designed to provide maximum tactical awareness for both the boarding party and the command vessel.
The unique thing about the system is that it is provided in two waterproof containers that can be moved from ship to ship. SitaWare maritime boarding fully supports the work of the boarding teams at the tactical level and, first and foremost, secures the communications link between the boarding officer and the commanding officer of the command vessel.
The communications equipment is very small and provides more than sufficient bandwidth for transferring biometric data, a video link, secure messaging and C2 (command and control) information, such as orders, reports and overall progress of the mission. For the demonstration, the boarding party used ITT’s SpearNet Team Member radios, which can also be integrated into the wireless network in order to support search teams in up-tempo operations below deck.
The SitaWare Maritime boarding system has been used operationally throughout 2010 aboard HDMS Absalon and HDMS Esbern Snare, during the period in which Denmark had command over Standing NATO Maritime Group 1.
Having completed the test and evaluation phase, the Royal Danish Navy is now independently considering how a future maritime boarding system should be configured.
The SitaWare maritime boarding system continues to be developed, and over the past year, work has been carried out to show the position of boarding team members on the suspect vessel through a miniature inertial navigation system.
This enables the boarding officer to see exactly where the team members are, which enhances situational awareness and the safety of individual team members. So far, successful tests have been carried out upon fast track ferries with very accurate positioning results.
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