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08 Apr 15. Zycraft meets counter-piracy requirements with gunfire locator system fitted on escort vessels. Key Points:
* Maritime security firm installs gunfire locator system on board escort vessels
* Demand for system reflects rising concerns over Southeast Asian piracy
Singapore-based maritime security company Zycraft has equipped its escort vessels with sensors that can locate the direction of small arms fire. The development comes in response to growing concerns over increases in the number and severity of pirate attacks in Southeast Asian waters, and as shipping companies operating in the region are enquiring about firearm protection measures, said Zycraft. Work is being carried out in partnership with Netherlands-based acoustic systems developer Microflown Maritime. In December 2014, a crew member of Vietnamese product tanker VP Asphalt 2 received a fatal head wound following a firearms discharge in what appeared to have been an oil siphoning attack in the South China Sea. This was the first piracy-related fatality in Southeast Asian waters in recent years. The attack “definitely raised concerns of ship owners, especially product tankers, in the region”, Zycraft’s James Soon told IHS Jane’s on 7 April. Zycraft currently provides maritime escort services for vessels sailing through the region, including through the South China Sea and Malacca and Singapore straits. The company has two Shomari LRV-17 17m boats, which it uses for this purpose. The vessels have top speeds in excess of 40kt and maximum ranges in excess of 1,000 nm. They are equipped with electro-optical sensors and laser dazzlers to detect and deter pirates. They also can accommodate up to seven persons including crew and other personnel. Soon described Microflown’s gunfire detection system, or Boat Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensor (B-AMMS), as an early warning capability against guns firing at distances that are difficult to detect in noisy maritime environments. The system consists of a proprietary acoustic vector sensor housed in a windproof dome, mounted externally on the vessel; it also includes operator interface software installed on a ruggedized laptop computer.
“The software features a console with a polar plot that pinpoints the distance and direction [at] which a gunshot is detected within an accuracy range of 10 degrees”, said Soon. He added that the system has an effective range of up to 1.5 km. “Once the gunshot is localised, we can then take appropriate measures such as turning the escort boat towards the direction of fire to assume offensive manoeuvres,” Soon added.
Zycraft is currently evaluating B-AMMS for use on the company’s unmanned surface vessels (USVs), with a view to considering deployment of the USVs as part of the company’s range of maritime escort services. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Apr 15. Belarus fills sight gap for Khrizantema-S. Belarus has been able to provide Russia with a substitute electro-optic sight for the KBM Khrizantema BMP-3 tank destroyer, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin has claimed. Speaking to Russian press agency ITAR-TASS on 7 April, Rogozin said that the new electro-optic sight systems were being procured from the Belarusian firm Peleng following the cutting of military trade links with Ukraine in 2014. The Khrizantema tank destroyer is based on a BMP-3 chassis and can carry 15 anti-tank missiles, with two in the launch position in an elevated arm above the vehicle. These missiles can be guided using a roof-mounted millimetre wave radar or a laser-beam-riding system directed by the protected sight mounted on the right side of the vehicle’s glacis plate. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
08 Apr 15. Australia, Happy With Boeing E-7 Wedgetail, Plans Upgrades. Australia’s Boeing E-7 Wedgetails are working well, with system improvements coming. In 2006, Austr