Maritime Surveillance Systems
An integrated Maritime Surveillance System is critical to enable a nation or a republic to provide local, regional and international Law Enforcement, Maritime Security, Border Security, Policing and Counter Trafficking operations, National Security Ministries typically have a range of assets for different operational needs. For example this could include coastguard, naval and border guard assets, such as small inshore vessels, Fast Patrol Boats (FPB), Fast Interceptor Craft (FIC), Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), Helicopters (Helo), Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs), Coastal Surveillance sites and Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). Long range assets, such as an OPV or MPA, act as force multipliers, through the provision of continuous maritime extended range, mobile surveillance. However, the power projection of these assets must be harnessed, in order to fully realise the capability of such assets. The extended range tactical and radar pictures that these assets produce must be fused with all available surveillance assets, including coastal radar sites, to build and maintain a comprehensive Recognised Maritime Picture (RMP). This RMP can be extended still further through the integration of land sensors to build a multi domain Common Operating Picture. The RMP would provide early warning of approaching Contacts of Interest (COIs) including traffickers, terrorists and illegal vessels, and would allow timely intercepts to be conducted by a variety of assets. Dissemination of the RMP must be distributed in real or near-real time, to allow timely strategic and tactical prioritization and decisions to be made. Asset tracking (position of own assets – Blue forces tracking) enables the positions of all assets to be tracked and tasked for intercept, security or Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. As part of forward operations an Interceptor or RIB could conduct an Over-the-Horizon (OTH) maritime intercept, interdiction and boarding by being vectored from real-time COI track information relayed from a C2 Centre ashore or a loitering OTH OPV. Use of Satcom to relay critical COI information greatly extends maritime domain awareness. The full benefits and operational advantage of all maritime and coastal assets can only be fully realised and utilised by providing a totally integrated maritime surveillance system that fuses data from all assets across a wide area. If the information from all assets and surveillance systems is combined and shared, a comprehensive picture across the complete area of operation can be achieved. Thus, providing enhanced maritime domain awareness, early warning and quicker reaction times, to combat and control emerging threats, illegal activities and SAR incidents; guaranteeing security in a changing world.