SHIP SECURITY - BRIDGE VULNERABILITY STUDY: To determine the effects of weapons fired at the bridge of tankers and to recommend effective ship hardening measures to mitigate the threat - OCIMF, October 2014
Increasing maritime crime worldwide has resulted in the need to understand the vulnerability of merchant vessels to attacks from a range of small arms fire.
Analysis of recent incidents has shown that the bridge, being the command and control centre, is the main target area for attackers as they attempt to force a vessel to slow down or stop and allow the attackers access to the vessel. OCIMF engaged a multinational defence technology company, QinetiQ, to conduct a two-phased study using computer software simulations to investigate the vulnerability of the bridge of a selection of tanker tonnages (from 30,000dwt to 300,00dwt) when coming under fire from an attack.
The aim of the study was to determine the likelihood of injury to, and the physical vulnerability of, seafarers on the bridge of a vessel when the vessel was subjected to attack by small arms weaponry. Simulations were carried out in order to determine the:
1.Effects of firing a variety of weapons from numerous positions both in terms of range from the vessel and angle off the bow.
2.Likely penetration into the bridge.
3.Likely secondary fragmentation resulting from the shattering of windows.
Subsequent simulations were conducted with the vessels being hardened, firstly with bridge windows protected with shatterproof film, and then again with the steelwork reinforced.
Recommendations (section 6) to increase a vessels protection are based upon conclusions of the study. This Paper has been developed to highlight the results of the study to promulgate recommendations relating to the hardening of the bridge structure, which may be considered both for existing tonnage and new build vessels.
The full study can be download here:
Further information on the latest attacks and advice can be found here:
RPG Attack Guidelines (updated v1.1) - 'ROCKET ATTACK STARBOARD' 'TAKE COVER PORT'