Furuno & FLIR vs the pirates, IRIS

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

11 Responses

  1. Richard says:

    While I accept that the likelihood of Somali pirates reading Panbo is slim to none…nonetheless is it sensible to post on the web the details of the systems which ships are using to protect themselves against piracy?
    At a minimum, this post discloses the details of the system redundancy (“Pirates: be sure to shoot out BOTH systems”) and exactly what the systems in question look like (“OK, here’s a photo of your targets. Look for one at the bow and the other at the stern”).
    I understand these systems are intended to give the ship early warning and that if pirates are within good shooting range of the sensors, the equipment will either have done its job or be useless.
    But still, disseminating this information, while unquestionably interesting to Panbo readers, only weakens security and is unwise.

  2. Capt. hank says:

    A couple of 50 cal’s should also be used for backup. Target the water-line and enjoy the show.

  3. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    Wow. Six pieces in one week, we are going to get spoiled Ben.

  4. J. White says:

    Interesting article but I’m concerned that the enemy can read your very detailed information and find work-arounds. I’d rather you just let us and the enemy know that there is a system out there to stop them. That would give us confidence and perhaps the enemy some fear instead of information that might help them to figure out how to overcome it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I dont think Furuno and FLIR will be selling the systems to the pirates anytime soon its not something you can pick off a bootleg market.
    plus you can bet thats not the only defenses they have

  6. J., I wouldn’t have posted this if I didn’t think the companies involved were OK with it. I presume that they believe, as I do, that in these times information like this simply shouldn’t be part of anyone’s security plan.

  7. Furuno Tech says:

    The point of sharing this information with Panbots is to show that both the Furuno Navnet 3D and FLIR Voyager thermal imaging cameras are consumer products!
    Specifically, the Navnet 3D DRS Radars and MFDs are in fact standard Furuno products that are available to anyone yet, their built-in resilience to failure through redundancy, IP networking, and unique features makes them very applicable as an IRIS Distant Early Warning(DEW)system for vessel’s like the Alabama. Ben’s reference to “Shooting Out” an antenna should be considered a metaphor to any kind of potential failure!! Every Navnet 3D system allows our customers to easily design and employ a reduncant, isolated NMEA2000 or NMEA0183 sensor architecture! In the event of a sensor failure or power supply failure of one NMEA2000 bus, the other one on the network will automatically take over after alerting the operator.
    Pirates already know to shoot at moving things when they are close enough as we have received returned radar arrays with bullet holes in them. If pirates are close enough to shoot at any radar or communication antennas with an assault rifle or RPG, the IRIS system has hopefully already done its job in providing the crew with extra time to prepare a defense, signal for help, employ evasive maneuvers, or implement their safety plan.
    Furuno/FLIR’s IRIS demonstrates how we are working together with Radar and Imaging Systems to leverage and complement both technologies!
    We are working hard to improve IRIS for surveillance and Navigation applications on much smaller vessels.
    Furuno Tech

  8. Anonymous says:

    We needed something like this 68 years ago!

  9. M says:

    Infosec was the term we used in the Navy. Just because information isn’t classified doesn’t mean the whole world should still know about it. Some things do need to be safeguarded, and I think this is one of those things. Pirates may not read Panbo, but we all know how information travels and the Internet. And for that matter, it’s not just pirates, they’re terrorist out there who will misuse this information as well. The safety of the ships crews should be priority. Like we used to say in Navy, “Loose lips sink ships.”

  10. Larry Brandt says:

    I don’t see a security concern at all in the posting of this information. Anyone savvy enough to get this off Panbo is savvy enough to simply look at the antenna/Flir arrays on the vessel itself and deduce their function.
    Personally, I think the above IRIS system plus an on-board civil helicopter modified as a gunship, on enough high value vessels, would solve the piracy problem, once and for all.

  11. Nick says:

    It seems that Furuno and/or Maersk line saw fit to release this, so why should Panbo feel the need to lay their own secrecy on top?
    Anyhow, given that this is a defensive system, mightn’t this info help keep ne’er-do-wells AWAY from the Alabama? Which is the point, after all, discouraging/preventing attacks and not setting up some sort of “pirate trap” (the Altanta is not a Q-Ship, to invoke some history).
    Most people who install a car alarm, to draw up another analogy, put on a little flashing light or window sticker. “Go somewhere else, I’m protected” is the message.

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