Technology and Security

When ocean-going yachts occasionally cross certain ‘hotspots’ where piracy and acts of terrorism have been known to occur, or even simply when sailing in dangerous waters, they may be exposed to certain potential risks. The technology available to ensure security and safety thus becomes an important area of interest. Technology that increases and ensures navigation safety is increasingly present on board yachts and over time has even conditioned the design of particular structures, such as the navigation bridge, which in modern vessels has become an important operational centre fitted with many different kinds of equipment, monitors and control systems. One of the major drivers of technological progress in the automotive, aeronautical and naval sectors is military research, where results are often more wide-ranging with respect to the real object of R&D projects. In order to meet a growing demand for dual-use systems, some companies specialising in products for the military sector have created equipment suitable for use in military/tactical operations – as in the case of target identification –  and also, for example, in the search for shipwreck survivors. When they are integrated with other systems, this type of apparatus can be even more effectively adopted in rescue operations or other purposes. SITEP Italia is a firm that has gained distinction through its R&D activities and has been providing valuable support for the Italian Navy and other clients with its highly developed, reliable equipment since 1975. The LW MASS CS-424 lightweight multi-role acoustic stabilized system, originally conceived for large ships with important tactical/operational requirements, is the latest product the company has developed for smaller vessels. This integrated system was designed and built to offer valuable assistance as an anti-piracy measure, for search and rescue operations and for the defence of ships against hostile acts. The system features equipment installed on a stabilised platform that can be remotely controlled. The apparatus comprises a powerful camera for the remote identification of possible attackers and a system for the transmission of audio messages (in real time or remotely recorded) with technology that exploits a powerful narrow beam emitter. For example, in order to discourage boarding by pirates the system is also equipped with a powerful narrow-beam sound generator, a powerful light source capable of temporarily blinding attackers, and a laser ‘dazzler’. Among the options that can be perfectly integrated with the other systems present on a vessel we find a radar interface, the possibility of video tracking, and a thermal chamber, in addition to other sensors. The light used to search for shipwreck survivors or other ships in difficulty has a range of 3,500 metres, the daytime video camera is equipped with a 30x zoom while other advanced technical features make the Sitep Italia system a valuable aid in terms of defence when crossing dangerous waters. Unlike the previous version, equipped with systems and sensors that are more powerful but which would not really correspond to the particular needs of a yacht, this latest model is far more compact and lightweight and therefore also suited to the aesthetic needs of a pleasure craft. As in the case of radomes for satellite antennas or other antennas and sensors now commonly installed in the upper areas of superstructures in large yachts, for those vessels that normally sail in waters where defence systems are a suitable accessory we are certain that the LW MASS CS-424 system can also be easily accommodated. In terms of anti-piracy measures one of the most important characteristics of this system is that it can be controlled remotely from a safe internal position, such as the navigation bridge, without exposing the crew to the risk of contact (even merely visual) with possible aggressors. The earliest specimens of the apparatus were produced in the grey colour typically chosen for naval/military vessels, but in the case of a shipyard that specialises in the construction or refitting of large yachts it can be supplied with a white finish or produced in other colours suitable for the superstructure where it is to be installed. This Italian company is able to offer clients valuable support and products for maritime search and rescue operations, as well as systems for repelling attackers using heavy sound-wave emissions conveyed and directed only towards them, plus very high-intensity light and laser-beam systems that make it impossible to view the yacht at a distance.In addition to all this, other sensors are available that can be associated with the apparatus and managed remotely via specific consoles.

Size 970 mm (h) x 790 mm (w) x 690 mm (d)
Weight 90 kg approx.
Power supply 115-230 VAC
Peak power absorption during operation 400 W/1 kW
Rotation speed 40°/sec.
Pointing accuracy +/- 5°
Connection CMS - ETHERNET 10/100 or AHRS RS-422 NMEA 0187
Manufactured by Sitep Italia SpA Arsenale Militare La Spezia, Fabbricato 19 Amendola, 1 - 19121 La Spezia - Italy Tel. +39 1087 695911 mail:

Angelo Colombo

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