Inchcape Shipping Services launches state-of-the-art anti-piracy solution.
Cost effective armour protection provides unrivalled countermeasures to safeguard vessel and crew welfare. Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), a maritime services provider, and Vessel Protection Solutions (VPS) announced the launch of a new anti-piracy partnership that will provide the ultimate protection for vessels and their crews while operating in known piracy regions. The solutions will provide customers with highly effective fully certified systems that are designed to combat RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) and small arms fire.
“Time and again we see bullet proof vests issued to crews without hard armour plates, and vessels using 8mm mild steel to protect the bridge, internal doors and citadels, which will do nothing against a round from an AK47,” said Edward Unwin, Sales Director Vessel Protection Solutions. “Similarly, using double layers of standard mesh fencing to counter the threat of an RPG attack will actually increase the chance of a lethal detonation,” continued Unwin.
Following extensive research and live fire testing, as well as years of consultation with the defence industry and associated partners and suppliers, ISS and VPS will provide customers with a comprehensive range of advanced, high-tech protective countermeasures, including:
• Light Armour System against Shaped Ordnance (LASSO)
A high tensile steel mesh that short circuits an RPG projectile rendering its explosive shape charge inert.. LASSO is deployed around the bridge offering protection to the crew whilst still allowing full visibility to the Master. The system can then be easily stowed when the vessel is not transiting high risk areas.
• Ramor 500
Specially designed light-weight, armoured steel that offers comprehensive protection to the bridge and vessel’s access points. The armour is able to withstand multiple hits from high velocity rifle rounds including AK47 making it ideal for Citadel construction. The system does not require class recertification as it is lightweight and easily removable.
• Composite Armour
A range of ultimate lightweight armour protection that has been designed specifically for the maritime industry. Products include fully certified Lloyds approved ballistic doors, weapon cabinets and removable ballistic panels. These STANAG certified products are ideal for offering enhanced protection to the bridge and internal access areas.
• Anti-Ballistic Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Certified Body Armour, Helmets, Hard Armour Plates and Soft Armour panels which have been specifically designed for maritime applications. These protective systems will provide significant increased survivability if the crew comes under small arms fire. These lightweight vests and helmets will also offer additional protection against fragmentation and blunt trauma.
Graham Fee, Project Manager, VPS Hub, Inchcape Shipping Services commented: “While Best Management Practices provides useful guidelines and recommendations to combat pirate attacks, when it comes to ballistic protection, shipowners need real counsel on the kind of solutions to adopt. Budgets are tight given the current economic climate, however there’s no point in just going for the cheapest material that may tick a compliance box but doesn’t work during an attack and invalidates insurance; ultimately costing more in the long-term. Our focus is to provide solutions that save lives, are cost efficient and are proven by both military and civil agencies.”
Claus Hyldager, Group Chief Executive, ISS, concluded: “Piracy is one of the greatest challenges the industry faces. While the legislative debate continues on how to best tackle the issue in relation to armed guards, is it vital that shipowners have access to the best equipment and onboard vessel and crew armour that provides appropriate protection, right now. Our VPS operation and our expertise in this area is testament to our commitment to helping our customers meet these challenges that serve to impact the efficiency of their operations and the wellbeing of their crews.”