Lockheed Martin System To Monitor Gulf of Suez Safety

Thursday, August 15, 2002
Lockheed Martin has completed the final Site Acceptance Test (SAT) for the Gulf of Suez Vessel Traffic Information Management System (VTIMS), which will monitor and control ship traffic in all major port and harbor waters. The $50 million maritime safety system is the foundation of the Arab Republic of Egypt's total port management program. Work boats and fishing vessels traverse the 175-nautical-mile-long Gulf along with huge oil tankers and boats full of tourists visiting the famous Red Sea coral reefs. "The oil rigs on the Gulf of Suez and the tourism that surrounds our popular coral reefs help make up the backbone of our economy," said Admiral Sherin El Kady, chairman of the Ports and Lighthouses Administration, the customer for the project. "This maritime safety system supports Egypt's quest to promote tourism and commerce while preserving the environment and preventing disasters such as oil spills that could harm our natural resources." Lockheed Martin has provided the VTIMS under a contract signed in 1998. The system includes three Vessel Traffic Centers (VTCs) together with eight remote sensor sites, all connected via fiber optic wide-area networks. Two VTCs are in operation on the Gulf and a third is located in the Port of Safaga on the Red Sea. The new VTIMS will be complemented by a Search and Rescue (SAR) system, which Lockheed Martin will provide under a $50 million contract signed in February. That contract will provide the Egyptian Ministry of Transport with all the necessary capabilities to manage and respond to any maritime distress in the Gulf of Suez. "We are pleased to provide a safety system for one of the world's most prestigious waterways," said Mike Smith, president, Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems (NE&SS)-Radar Systems. "Our VTIMS, combined with the search and rescue system, will provide Egypt and its citizens with one of the best-monitored, most responsive maritime programs in the world."

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