If all goes as planned with the scheduled SpaceX launch Sunday, a startup called HawkEye 360 will have a trio of satellites resembling toaster ovens circling the globe, scanning for pirate radio.
The Washington-area company is one of 35 paying customers strapped to the top of the Falcon 9 rocket, a crowd of cosmic enterprises boldly pushing the private sector into parts of the universe that were once solely the province of sovereign space agencies. The passenger list includes a Honeywell satellite to relay messages from tankers at sea, a company called Audacy that is building a system to speed communication among satellites, and the Nevada Museum of Art, which is launching an orbiting sculpture meant to be visible from Earth.
The HawkEye mission, meanwhile, is a bit more subtle—and lucrative. While space is full of satellites snapping pictures of the planet, the company said it will be the first commercial operation to capture radio frequency feeds down below.
“I spend as much time pitching the paradigm—the idea—as I do pushing Hawkeye itself,” said founder Chris DeMay. “It’s not necessarily intuitive to those who don’t come from the government, because [radio frequency] is not inherently visual.”
DeMay used to help the U.S. government do this kind of thing during his tenure at the National Reconnaissance Office. A few years ago, he realized that the growing crop of small satellites—or cubesats, as they are called—could accomplish missions similar to what’s being done by larger, more expensive government hardware.
Sunday’s launch (it’s been rescheduled twice) will be the 18th mission by Elon Musk’s rocket fleet this year, and the first time such a large vehicle was entirely dedicated to ride-sharing. SpaceX split the $62 million cost among dozens of small clients, rather than NASA or some other major satellite operator. (The launch had originally been scheduled for earlier this month but was delayed.)
Once aloft, Hawkeye’s three satellites will be able to triangulate and pinpoint any given radio signal. Eventually, the company hopes to have 10 separate, three-satellite flocks zooming around the globe. With that much hardware, it will be able to scan any part of the world in less than 30 minutes. “It’s going to move pretty darn quickly once we have live data from space,” DeMay said.
So why is this important? “If you kind of look at the art of the possible … you can understand how that could be very beneficial for customers like Homeland Security or Coast Guard,” said Jane Chappell, Raytheon’s vice president of global intelligence solutions. In any type of conflict, or for law enforcement, the ability to zero in on people you might not otherwise see becomes a valuable—if perhaps Orwellian—product.
Chief Executive Officer John Serafini said about half of HawkEye’s demand will come from defense and intelligence clients, with the rest coming from a mixed bag—ranging from rescue groups searching for emergency beacons at sea to telecommunications companies eager to map bandwidth use.
The first order of business, however, will be catching pirates. Smugglers and other wrongdoers of the high seas regularly turn off their GPS transponders to avoid tracking. Instead, they use satellite phones and CB radios to coordinate with other ships or confederates on land, all of which will whisper to the Hawkeye toasters soaring overhead.
“They told me what they wanted to do, and I thought ‘Is that possible?’” recalled Robert Tremlett, a maritime analyst and former merchant marine. Tremlett spent much of his career escorting minesweepers and military ships near Iraq and Iran. Often, on those missions, a very expensive and sophisticated plane flew overhead to keep an eye out for dark vessels laying mines. HawkEye will be able to perform a similar service at a fraction of the cost.
“I see this as part of a solution to a massive problem,” Tremlett said.
Source: Maritime Security Review
Coast Guard has 37 boats equipped with weapons, communication equipment and updated radar.
Arab coalition hands Hadramout role to Yemen coast guard
JEDDAH: The Arab coalition officially handed over responsibility for protecting the Hadramout region’s coastline to the Yemeni coast guard on Thursday.
Boats equipped with weapons, communication devices and radar were given to the coast guard to help carry out its role.
Coast guard duties include managing regional ports, maintaining security on the Arabian Sea coastline, and preventing the smuggling of arms, drugs or people into the region.
The ceremony was attended by Yemeni Prime Minister Dr. Salem Ahmed Al-Khanbashi; Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Saeed Al-Jaber; US Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Toler; Gov. of Hadramout Maj. Gen. Faraj Al-Bahsani; and Maj. Gen. Abdullah Abu Hatim, commander of the Yemeni border guards.
Al-Jaber said in a press conference following the ceremony that Yemen’s coast guard would protect Yemen, the Arabian Peninsula and the region against smuggling and terrorism. Terrorism had been eliminated in Yemen, he said.
The envoy said that the Arab coalition had trained 1,000 Yemeni military officers and provided them with equipment, including radar and vehicles. Training had included military exercises and tactics.
Maj. Gen. Saleh Al-Ghamdi, representing the naval forces of the coalition’s Joint Forces Command, said that the coalition had trained new Yemeni coast guard personnel in Hadramout. More personnel would be trained, he said.
“Trainees have also received courses in inspecting, auditing and combating maritime piracy in cooperation with the US side as the Yemeni coast guard is a member of the Combined Maritime Forces 150, based in Bahrain,” Al-Ghamdi said.
He said that 37 boats equipped with weapons, communication equipment and updated radar had been given to Yemen’s coast guard in order to guard Hadramout’s coast. The 350 km coastline houses seven main ports and dozens of small harbors.
Commander of Yemeni Coast Guard Forces Maj. Gen. Khalid Al-Qamali said that the protection and management of the coast of Hadramout would be handled in cooperation with the leadership of the local authority and with the support of the Joint Forces Command of the coalition.
The coast guard sector in the Arabian Sea includes four governorates — Hadramout, Al-Mahrah, Shabwah and Socotra — with the headquarters of the main center located in the city of Mukalla.
Al-Qamali said that it had been agreed with the Saudi-led coalition to establish the sector in stages, with the first stage launched last August in Al-Mahrah followed by Hadramout.
Trainees demonstrated their new skills during the ceremony through security scenarios in which they stopped “hostile” boats.
The Arab coalition said later on Thursday that a missile launch platform in Saadah had been destroyed before a ballistic missile could be fired toward Saudi Arabia.
Source: Maritime Security Review
On 20th and 21st November 2018, the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) co-chaired the 43rd Shared Awareness and De-confliction (SHADE) conference in Bahrain alongside the European Naval Force (Somalia) (EU NAVFOR). Over 100 delegates attended the conference including maritime shipping partners and independent maritime naval force representatives from Russia, China, India and Oman.
The SHADE conference occurs biannually and is held in the Kingdom of Bahrain, with chair responsibilities rotating between CMF and EU NAVFOR. The main purpose of the conference is to offer delegates the opportunity to discuss and understand the challenges and opportunities involved in countering piracy in the region and to ensure cooperation and de-confliction between navies when conducting these counter-piracy operations. Successes by the organisations combating piracy, including the maritime industry applying Best Management Practices, have led to a reduction in incidents over recent years. However, the threat continues and the need for all maritime agencies to work closely and remain vigilant is essential to retaining freedom of navigation for legitimate seafarers.
Opening the conference, the Deputy Commander of CMF, Commodore Steve Dainton CBE said: “The 43rd SHADE provides the perfect opportunity for the maritime community to meet and discuss the on-going and combined efforts of our counter piracy operations. We have to recognise that, but for our efforts and for adherence to Best Management Practice, conditions in Somalia remain such that piracy could resurge at any point.” He reminded the conference that information sharing and collaboration was key to ensuring maritime security and that CMF and EU NAVFOR would remain firm partners in these efforts.
Deputy Commander CMF, Commodore Steve Dainton, addressing the delegates at the start of the conference.
CMF has conducted counter-piracy operations since 2009 and EU NAVFOR from December 2008, with both organisations playing a key role in countering piracy throughout that time. The suppression of piracy, however, remains an on-going effort with all military and industrial partners playing their part and SHADE remains a focal point for coordinating this activity.
Colonel Mark Totten MBE, the co-chair from EU NAVFOR said: “Countering piracy involves every interested party working together. By sharing information and working collaboratively, we can keep piracy suppressed.” He went onto say: “It is essential that international maritime trade continues to use Best Management Practices in order to mitigate the threat of being pirated off the Horn of Africa.”
EU NAVFOR Chief of Staff, Colonel Mark Totten, speaking at the conference.
Perspectives were heard from independent speakers from Russia, China, India and Oman. Their countries play an important role in protecting and reassuring the merchant maritime community, as they often operate ships within the high threat area. Each nation declared they would continue to communicate and share information where possible and that they shared a common goal – the free flow of commerce.
A keynote speaker representing the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), John Steed MBE, provided an update on the situation on the ground in Somalia, as well as stressing the need for a naval presence to actively discourage any resurgence in pirate activity.
Closing the conference, the conference Chairman and Chief of Staff to CMF, Commander Micah Maxwell USN, said: “It has been an honour to chair this conference and to once again bring together experts from different organisations, navies and merchant shipping communities. We have been able to discuss counter piracy through the development of best practices, whilst coordinating and de-conflicting our activities to ensure that international maritime trade in our region can continue to go about its lawful business, unhindered. All of this proves to me the importance of these SHADE conferences.”
Combined Maritime Forces Chief of Staff, Commander Micah Maxwell, addressing the conference.
The 44th SHADE is planned for the latter half of April 2019.
Source: COMBINED MARITIME FORCES (CMF)
Exercise to focus on piracy, Abu Sayyaf Group.
Zambo City hosts 4th trilateral security exercise
The city government was elated that this city is part of the trilateral security exercise, involving the navies of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines (Indomalphi).
Lawyer Eric Elias, officer-in-charge city mayor, welcomed on behalf of Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, the Navy contingent from the Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Laut (TNI-AL) and Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) in a ceremony at the port here Tuesday.
The arrival of the two foreign vessels – KRI Suri (802) of TNI-AL and KD Pari (3510) of RMN –marked the beginning of the Indomalphi 4th Trilateral Port Visit and maritime training activities for the navies of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines under the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement (TCA).
Elias said the city government is elated that Zamboanga “is part of this important pursuit, especially because security is part of the Salazar administration’s thrust for the city.”
Aside from Elias, the members of the contingent that welcomed the arrival of the KRI Suri (802) and KD Pari (3510) included Lt. Commander Ahmad Yunus, Indonesian Head of Mission; Commander Azeman Yusoff, Malaysian Head of Mission; officers and men of the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) and local government officials.
Capt. Richard Gonzaga, Naval Forces Western Mindanao deputy commander for fleet operations, said a series of activities, such as day tours, sports activities, capability demonstration and maritime cooperative training activities, will be conducted and participated in by representatives of each country at Wesmincom’s area of responsibility until Friday.
Gonzaga said the aim of the trilateral activity is to strengthen the relationship, enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability of the three countries through the development of combined rules of engagement and develop better understanding and cooperation to address common issues on common maritime waters.
The purpose of the TCA is to establish cooperation among the three countries in addressing terrorism, smuggling, kidnapping, intrusion, piracy, illegal entry, robbery at sea, drug trafficking, illicit trafficking in arms, theft of marine resources, money laundering, and marine pollution.
It is also aimed at securing the maritime waters, including the Tawi-Tawi fishing ground of Zamboanga-based fishing and canning industries, and to prevent trafficking in persons, as well as illegal immigration.
Source: Maritime Security Review
Piracy attacks in the Nigerian maritime domain are taking alarming toll on shipping in Nigeria’s territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea. Aside earning the Nigerian waters the notorious status of been the most dangerous in the region, the situation was also said to be partially responsible for the nation’s bleeding economy as over US$2.74 billion was paid by the country in the past four years as insurance surcharges and other sundry surcharges imposed on Nigerian shipments simply because the country’s territorial waters is not safe for navigation.
These surcharges, Sunday Telegraph learnt, were passed on to the final consumers of goods and services imported into the country by the shippers.
This year alone, freight costs have reportedly risen six times, amid fears that insurance could also be rising as the menace of piracy and other criminalities continue to rise in the Nigerian waters. Meanwhile, statistics from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) shows that, “in the first four months of 2018, the number of incidents significantly increased in the region, with 36 reported, against 17 the same period in 2017.”
The same month, armed pirates attacked two vessels in separate incidents off the Coast of Bonny Island. The development left stakeholders worried that foreign shipping companies may introduce a minimum of $200,000 (about N72 million) as insurance premium before calling at the nation’s ports.
“The cost of shipping is now very high because they now increase freight almost on a monthly basis. They have increased it more than six times this year. At a time, it was increased by $500 or $600. Now, it’s over $5,200, from $2,200 for one container. This increase is affecting the prices of commodities because we will have to add the cost of shipment to determine our market price,” lamented importer, Okechukwu Nwobi.
Economic cost piracy rising
The Ocean Beyond Piracy (OBP) in a recent report showed that the economic cost of piracy to Nigeria has been on the increase in the last three years, reaching over $818.1 million in 2017, while about $213.7 million was spent to contract maritime security personnel protecting vessels in the region.
It revealed that regional spending on law enforcement and naval patrols increased by $13.2 million in the year. The report also showed that 1,726 seafarers were affected last year, while 100 crewmembers were taken hostage.
Two persons were killed. It suggested that attacks on cargo vessel are currently on the rise, as crude oil prices assume an upward swing.
“While only one incident of hijacking for cargo theft was recorded in 2017, incidents in early 2018 may suggest a return to the model,” the report notes.
Shipping companies patronising Nigeria and other West African ports are incurring additional expenses, as they are compelled to engage the services of private security guards, even though the Federal Government recently declared that such violates Nigeria’s constitution. A breakdown of the security cost by OBP showed that coastal states incurred personnel costs of about $213.7 million; affiliated escorts, $9.4 million; and private patrols, $134.9 million per year. It noted that Nigeria spends about $6.6 million yearly to protect its security anchorage area.
These are clearly demarcated areas where ships could safely anchor and wait to berth or conduct ship-to-ship (STS) cargo transfers. About four major international shipping companies operate in the country including Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Grimaldi and CMA/CGM in addition to smaller foreign and local shipping companies call at the Nigeria ports. According to the OPB report, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is estimated to have spent about $217.8 million on counter-piracy.
On insurance cost, the report states: “In addition to war risk insurance premiums, a number of ship operators take out risk insurance as additional protection for their crew. OBP further estimated that that in 2017, approximately 35 per cent of all ships transiting the Gulf of Guinea Listed Area carried this insurance at a cost totaling $20.7 million. It added that “the threat of piracy may lead to increased cargo insurance premiums.
While a comprehensive estimate of the piracy-related costs is impossible, it can be determined whether the costs associated with this type of insurance were higher or lower than in the previous year, based on the risk score assigned to the region by the Joint Cargo Committee (JCC) Cargo Watchlist. “In 2017, the risk score for the Gulf of Guinea remained classified as ‘high’ and Nigeria continued to have the highest risk score of all littoral states,” the report stressed.
Speaking on the worrying situation and the attendant loss to the Nigerian economy, a former director general of NIMASA, Temisan Omotseye, said; “Ship owners will tell you that they are not going anywhere east. They call it ‘five degree east’. Any ship that goes five degree east will have what is called, ‘war risk premium’. And each day a vessel stays in that domain, it pays $1000 to the insurance company. The insurance companies collect up to $300million per year on war risk and there is no claim.”
Nigeria leads in piracy attacks
Despite efforts by the Federal Government to reduce the cases of piracy and banditry in Nigeria’s territorial waters, the country still leads in pirates attack in the Gulf of Guinea in the first nine months of 2018, a report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed. IMB in its latest quarterly report said a total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported to its Piracy Reporting Centre in the first nine months of 2018 compared to 121 for the same period in 2017. According to IMB, a total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first nine months of 2018 compared to 121 for the same period in 2017.
The 2018 figure is broken down as 107 vessels boarded, 32 attempted attacks, 13 vessels fired upon and four vessels hijacked –although no vessels were reported as hijacked in Q3 2018.This is first time since 1994when no vessel hijackings have been reported in two consecutive quarters. Speaking in Lagos during the 2018 World Maritime Day celebration, Secretary to The Government of The Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha disclosed that the Federal Government plans to invest in maritime security and local capacity development to reduce maritime piracy in the Nigerian waters so as to get a sizeable chunk of the N$6 billion (N2.16 trillion) of the annual freight cost for the country retained in the Nigerian economy.
Also speaking at the event, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said shippers spend between $5 billion and $6 billion annually on freight cost, while the maritime component of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is worth an estimated $8 billion alongside seaborne transportation, oceanic extractive resource exploitation and export processing zones.
He said, “It is worthy to note that for effective contribution of shipping activities to the development of Nigeria’s economy, there is urgent need to curb and combat these illegal maritime activities in our waters as these crimes continue to constitute impediments to economic development. “As long as these crimes continue to pose danger to the Gulf of Guinea and our maritime domain, the benefits of the theme of this year’s World Maritime Day celebration will continue to be elusive,” he said.
It is commendable that the proposition by the Minister of Transportation to award a contract of over US$152million to an unknown Israeli security firm to import security platforms, operate them and train Nigerian security personnel (Navy) to secure Nigerian waters, has reportedly been cancelled by President Muhammadu Buhari, after the contract was roundly condemned by the Nigerian media. However, there is no gainsaying the fact that the Federal Government needs to up its game in the security of the Nigerian territorial waters to make it safe for seaborne trade.
It is against this backdrop that it is of utmost importance that the Federal Government deploys the platforms which the country acquired under its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Global West Vessel Specialists Limited, especially the much reported Danish fast armored boats, which the company purchased for the country. If those are not enough, more could be purchased and the contract needs to be awarded to a local firm, since the last time Nigeria awarded the contract to a local firm, Global West, they did well in securing the nation’s maritime domain.
Source: HELLENIC SHIPPING NEWS
The decision by BIMCO, the international shipowners’ association, to introduce a cyber security clause into its charter party agreements and other contracts has been welcomed by Naval Dome, the Israel-based developer of the award-winning Endpoint cyber security platform.
Asaf Shefi, CTO, Naval Dome said: “That the BIMCO cyber clause will precede the 2021 entry-into-force of IMO Resolution MSC.428(98), which will see cyber security measures included in the ISM Code, is very welcome news. The decision suggests that shipowners are now unwilling to wait for the regulators to implement change and are taking immediate action themselves.”
The BIMCO cyber clause is still at the draft stage but likely to include the need to protect both IT and OT-based systems onboard ship.
“While IT-related cyber protection is crucial to mitigating against fraud and data theft, the inclusion of Operation Technologies means that shipowner realise that critical systems – navigational, machinery and hotel systems – also need protection to prevent threats to crew, passenger and vessel safety,” said Shefi.
With the market proliferation of maritime cyber solutions, however, Shefi pointed out that a careful evaluation of the technologies available is required before any investments are made.
“Most cyber security systems just protect IT. Naval Dome Endpoint is the only cyber security system capable of protecting both IT and OT systems. As all shipboard systems are linked and inter-connected, BIMCO members should be aware that each individual IT and OT system onboard needs its own protection.”
It is the potential inclusion of a cyber liability clause, however, that Naval Dome CEO Itai Sela singles out for particular praise.
“The problems shipowners face insuring their PC-based systems against cyber attack has been well documented, but this issue could be resolved with the BIMCO clause.”
BIMCO has said that liability for claims would be limited to US$100,000 unless a different amount is agreed during negotiations.
“This could mean that the end result of a cyber attack may not necessarily be put down to technical failure or human error – as these things frequently are. It could also make the introduction of cyber insurance-related policies a potentially more attractive proposition for the insurer,” said Sela.
“At the very least, the new cyber clause will ensure parties are required to notify one another so that they can take the necessary precautions. It will ensure that contracted parties have procedures and systems in place to help minimise the cyber threat.”
The BIMCO decision follows a recent spike in high-profile cyber-attacks, such as those involving Maersk, COSCO, BW Group and broker Clarksons.
It is anticipated that the cyber clause will be included in BIMCO contracts from May 2019.
Source: HELLENIC SHIPPING NEWS
Source: Gray Page
IMB reported two separate piracy incidents in India and Nigeria, on 17 and 21 of November respectively. The first incident took place in Kakinada Anchorage, where robbers boarded a product tanker and stole its stores. The other incident occurred in Lagos Anchorage, where robbers boarded a vessels, but they were noticed.
On November 17, in Kakinada Anchorage, India, robbers boarded unnoticed a product tanker that was anchored at the time. They stole the vessel’s stores and escaped.
During routine rounds, the theft was noticed, and the port control as well as agents were informed.
The second piracy incident happened in Lagos Anchorage, Nigeria. There two robbers boarded a tanker using a rope. The duty crew on board the vessel noticed the robbers, while the alarm was raised.
Non-essential crew retreated to the citadel, whereas while hearing the alerted crew, the robbers escaped empty handed.
In its recent piracy report, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre reported a total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the first nine months of 2018 compared to 121 for the same period in 2017.
These incidents can be broken down as following:
- 107 vessels boarded;
- 32 attempted attacks;
- 13 vessels fired upon;
- 4 vessels hijacked.
However, no vessels were reported as hijacked in the third quarter of 2018, marking the first time since 1994 when no vessel hijackings have been reported in two consecutive quarters.
Nevertheless, incidents of this crime remain, with the number of crew members held hostage increasing, compared with the same period in 2017—from 80 incidents to 112 by the third quarter of 2018.
Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, stated:
“While the record low number of hijackings in the second and third quarters of 2018 is of course to be celebrated, incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery remain common”.
Chief of naval staff of India, Admiral Sunil Lanba, on October, reiterated in a maritime symposium in Verem the importance of cooperative engagement to promote maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and that maritime terrorism was no longer just a national or regional concern, but a global security challenge.
According to local news, the Indian Navy has accorded a high degree of priority to maritime engagement with countries in the India Ocean Region (IOR). The Goa Maritime Symposium is one such attempt to bring navies of neighbor countries on a common platform. Eight countries of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand are participating in the symposium. China, however, remains excluded.
The growing presence of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy in the Indian Ocean has aroused concerns in India, and the Indian Navy remains on constant alert to track the forays of Chinese warships and submarines.
What is more, Mr. Lanba added that the difficult period in politics is due to an increasing flux which is included in competing interests.
He also acknowledged that China remained a key player in the IOR and that India was working with China to keep navigational routes safe.
Another pirate attack has been thwarted off Nigeria.
Piracy reporting body Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG) said an unnamed vessel was boarded at 00:50 hours on Thursday, 19 miles from the coast.
The pirates escaped on a blue-hulled boat following an intervention from a security vessel.
The crew and vessel are safe.
Ships in the area are “advised to exercise extreme caution”, MDAT-GoG said.
Africa has seen a spate of kidnappings and attacks in recent weeks in an upsurge of pirate activity.