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03.01.2012

Future Offshore Patrol Vessels Conference 2011 Held In Bremen Germany

Future Offshore Patrol Vessels is an international conference and exhibition dedicated to the Offshore Patrol Vessel sector. The 2011 conference, organised by The Development Network, attracted more than 100 delegates alongside a customer centric exhibition showing the latest developments in technology.

A highlight of the event was the presentation by Rear Admiral Bruce Baffer, Director Of US Coast Guard Acquisitions Programmes, who spent an hour outlining how the USCG spends a $1.5 billion budget. Particularly interesting to delegates was the feedback from Rear Admiral Baffer regarding winners and losers in recent programmes. His answers to specific questions clearly explained the practical constraints that have affected various US Coast Guard programmes.

The event was chaired by Commodore Ranjit Rai (Ret’d), Former Director of Naval Operations and Vice President of Indian Maritime Foundation. The opening presentation of the conference that set the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) scene worldwide was by Mr Bernd Jaschinski, Technical Director, Federal Police Department for Maritime Security, German Bundespolizei

Presenters on day one included the Head of Naval Projects at Abeking & Rasmussen regarding future SWATH platforms, the OPV Project Manager of Netherlands Ministry of Defence and Project Director Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship from National Defence Canada. Other day one topics included crew training requirements, C4ISR for offshore patrol vessels and the need to deliver unmanned underwater vehicles launched from OPV.

Commodore Ranjit Rai (Ret’d) closed day with an overview of fleet renewal and modernization programmes in the current economic climate. His presentation outlined how funding problems have led to delays on projects and how budget cuts are forcing navies worldwide to modernise old vessels instead of purchasing new ones.

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Day two featured presentations from Captain Andre Katerinc, OPV Manager, South African Navy regarding the requirements for advanced integrated bridge systems. The operational need for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to perform border patrol missions from Offshore Patrol Vessels was assessed by Beny Rozanski, Administration of Shipping Ports, Ministry of Transport, Israel.

Operational capabilities of OPVs utilising RHIBs and helicopter was examined by Cdr Juan CASTANEDA (ESP Navy), Capability Development Branch, Spanish Navy Staff. His presentation considered the challenges of launching and recovering boat and air assets from OPVs in both day and night time operations.

A very current subject in border patrol and anti-piracy situations is the use of appropriate force in escalating situations. Rear Admiral Massimo Annati (Ret’d), European Working Group, Italian Navy assessed the use of non-lethal systems for stopping suspects or to delay / prevent hostile actions.

On day three delegates could attend workshops relevant to the future of the sector. The ‘Maritime Surveillance and Situational Awareness’ workshop, presented by Dr Gordon Campbell, Science Applications and Future Technologies Department, Directorate of EO Programmes, European Space Agency examined satellite-based maritime surveillance and integrating capabilities with conventional navy systems.

The ‘Legal Considerations Of Maritime Law Enforcement at Sea’ workshop, presented by Professor Steven Haines, Head, Security and Law Programme, Geneva Centre for Security Policy examined the threats of criminal and terrorist activities in coastal zones including illegal fishing, people smuggling and the illegal dumping of materials.

The Future Offshore Patrol Vessels Conference, held in Bremen Germany in partnership with Abeking & Ramussen (A&R), provided a perfect facility for naval and coast guard officers to network with industry. The OPV event included shipyard site visits to both A&R Lemwerder Shipyard and A&R Bremerhaven Shipyard.

2012 events organised by The Development Network (TDN) include Offshore Patrol & Security  at Portsmouth, UK in April and Future Offshore Patrol Vessels at Singapore in September. RIB & HSC eNEWS and The Shock Mitigation Directory are media partners for all TDN events.

See review of OPS 2011 at Portsmouth UK

Author: John Haynes

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