Business News of 2014-04-26

‘Infrastructure in maritime environment crucial’

The Coastal and Maritime Surveillance Conference Africa was held Accra, Ghana, last week.

With this conference came a renewed focus on securing and defending Africa’s coastline. ?It is a fact that offshore protection for infrastructure like oil rigs, fixed offshore production platforms and various other floating type facilities are limited, and finding solutions to defend and secure these soft targets is necessary.

These targets are exposed to threats from ‘above, on and below the surface of sea,' which is why the ability to respond to these threats is key to safeguarding offshore facilities.

Among its many defence and security solutions, Saab Grintek Defence (SGD) South Africa -- who exhibited at this year’s Coastal and Maritime Surveillance Africa Conference -- is also a company geared toward improving awareness and optimising security at sea and within ports.

SGD CEO Magnus Lewis-Olsson explains that in order to enable safety and security in the naval sphere, various tactics and solutions need to be deployed: “For example, security solutions would need to be able to offer a complete network that includes everything from port security and traffic management, as well as a range of solutions for coastal surveillance, search and rescue, and for different types of underwater work in the offshore industry”.??

He adds: “Making seaways, ports, offshore facilities and other maritime as well as shore-based infrastructure safe and secure is a major global challenge, and we aren’t just talking objects here -- coastguards, the police and the naval fleet are all at risk”

How can technology improve the safety and security of public servants and others, finding themselves working offshore? “By providing them with knowledge,” says Lewis-Olsson; “knowing what lies over the horizon, and below the surface, enables people to make the best possible decision and save lives.

“Maritime Surveillance products -- which provide fleets with situational awareness by scouting ahead and identifying potential threats -- have the ability to change a high-risk situation into a controlled and responsive one.”? ? Maritime Surveillance Aircraft is a state-of-the-art surveillance system designed for accurate detection and fast response to suspicious behaviour such as subversive activities, piracy, smuggling or illegal immigration.

It also provides support for search-and-rescue operations, disaster-relief and environmental-protection operations. The Saab 340 MSA provides an excellent and cost-effective solution in this regard. ? “The importance of this mandate should not be underestimated,” concludes Lewis-Olsson. “It is a well-known fact that the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans are of major economic, cultural and military importance. It stands to reason that it should be offered the best range of security solutions in order to protect sea traffic and infrastructures from the myriad threats facing them.” ?

Maritime aerial surveillance augments the total surveillance capability, which should be directed at the air, surface and sub-surface. By detecting and recognising a potential threat as far away as possible, it enables a much more pro-active response.

Source: BFT
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