In response to still pressing piracy threat off the coast of Somaila, Transas has developed an Anti-Piracy solution that will support maritime schools in performing relevant training.
The Transas Anti-Piracy package consists of a mothership, a smaller mothership and four fastboats with different speeds. The look of all vessels is typically 'pirate': badly maintained and rusty. The fastboats have four different visual states that can be triggered during running exercise to increase the threat by escalation levels from 'fisher' to 'agressive pirate' state.
The training goal is to help trainees understand what effect their avoidance maneuvers would have and practice in resolution of potential hostile targets, evasion techniques, communication, making contact and engaging.
During an exercise, trainees learn how to detect a hostile pirate vessel using ECDIS, radar plotting, AIS information, visual sightings (by fuel barrels on deck, weapons, type and number of crewmembers etc.) and by comparison of target data with known behavioural patterns of pirate vessels. Evasion for merchant ships techniques include avoidance of contacts with potentially hostile vessels or keeping out of range of known hostile vessel's weapons using course and speed changes. Finally, preparations, best angle of approach and practicing of best course and speed decisions are trained for closing and engaging hostile vessels for Anti-Piracy forces.
If simulator configuration comprises more than one bridge, both attacked merchant ship and assaulting pirate vessel can be loaded as Own Ship. Pirate vessels as Own Ship can be controlled in a more realistic way to simulate typical attack patterns. This allows the bridge team to understand what effect their avoidance maneuvers would have if scenario is observed from pirate's view.
Ralf Lehnert, Transas Marine Simulation Business Unit Director has this to say about the new development: „Anti-Piracy training is all about early reconnaissance and recognition and then about initiating the countermeasures and best management practice at earliest. That's why we put a lot of efforts in making those typical piracy attack vessels visually very close to reality and also provide realistic manoeuvring characteristics. The fact that these exercise objects can change their threat status from simple fishermen to aggressive attacking pirates during a scenario will help the training organisation to provide situational awareness training, from the early radar observation to the final visual identification. Our Navigational Simulator can also provide Naval ships and helicopters as escort objects for Convoy sailing and communication procedure training. This is only a first start of a series of planned functionality, as we see the piracy problem and its harm to commercial shipping unfortunately not as a short term threat only."
The Anti-Piracy solution has already found its first users: US Merchant Marine Academy, Malaysia International Shipping Company and Akademi Laut Malaysia already start courses using new Transas development.