Unmanned vessel provides piracy deterrent

Al Marakeb Boat Manufacturing Co. LLC has developed an unmanned surface vessel, the Interceptor, designed to patrol offshore and coastal waters.

Offshore staff

ABU DHABI -- Al Marakeb Boat Manufacturing Co. LLC has developed an unmanned surface vessel, the Interceptor, designed to patrol offshore and coastal waters. Potential applications include providing alerts concerning the presence of suspect parties close to offshore installations and marine bases. The 7-m (23-ft) long unmanned surface vessel (USV) will be making its debut at a marine exhibition in Abu Dhabi next week.


Al Marakeb, a local custom boat builder, has developed the Interceptor in partnership with robotics designer and builder, 5G Marine Systems, and security systems specialist HALO Maritime Defense Systems.
The vessel can be operated remotely, or as an autonomous, pre-programmed robot. It can collect and relay information back to a main control station, either within its visual range, or via satellite.

According to 5G’s CEO Robert Murphy, providing effective patrols using a conventional manned operation is expensive in terms of the vessels, crews, infrastructure, maintenance, and fuel. Unmanned surface vessels, he claims, can deliver a more effective service for a much lower capital outlay and with lower running costs.

Al Marakeb and its partners will also provide operators for data collection and training programs.

12/03/2009

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