The CSIR has provided the South African Navy with the technology to improve the carrying capacity of existing ships and the rapid deployment of interception teams in counter piracy activities.
The technology was requested by the Navy to establish quick-reaction capabilities during interdiction operations, follow, board, search and seizure operations, as well as operations to and from beaches. The system allows for teams to be rapidly deployed and recovered back on board, while the ship is underway.
The custom-designed hosting platform can be quickly installed onto any ship deck with a suitable container footprint. A variety of fast surface vessels with varying hull shapes and sizes can be carried on the hosting system’s multi-purpose cradle.
The current design solution is fully modular and all the required functionality fits onto a container footprint. Only power is drawn from the ship supply.
The complete system consists of the following:
- A wave compensating hydraulic davit system with a 5 ton lifting capacity under abnormal weather conditions.
- A load vector compensating base, which houses the drive system including the local and remote controls, the mission logistic support equipment and the stored energy for a full deployment and recovery cycle under emergencies.
The CSIR team designed the palletised system to address the load distribution over all of the attachment points by incorporating the mechanical properties of the steel structure with a polymer compression system. This overcomes the deck load limitations and allow for the extended use of available space on deck. It also increases the capability of ships to host fast surface vessels, allowing these ships to be employed on multi-role operations, as well as integrating the operational capabilities of various arms of service of the South African National Defence Force.
Working with the South African Navy ships, the Maritime Reaction Squadron and Special Operations capabilities, this technology has already proven its benefits in preventing acts of piracy spreading to the South African coastal waters.