Recommended Multi Role Capability and Equipment Upgrade
One of RV TRITON’s significant advantages is the ship’s design flexibility that enables it to perform several roles and functions. In essence the vessel has the ability to provide a range of services to different Government agencies either individually or collectively during the same patrol sequence if needed. It is also large enough and has the performance to be able to service several different activities in a general geographical location concurrently if required. This is achieved because the vessel has the ability to move relatively quickly between locations and deploy and recover work teams as needed.
Whilst the RV TRITON is well designed and will come equipped to undertake this mobile platform role, the ship’s multi role / multi user capability will be optimized if the agencies using the ship have access to additional ship fitted equipment that will support their operational and support requirements.
This equipment includes:
Two High Performing 8.5m Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB). These assets comprise part of the mission system for the law enforcement aspect of the ships role. These vessels are able to quickly deploy several enforcement officers to board a suspect vessel and can operate safely and effectively over the horizon from the TRITON if needed. They also offer a Search and Rescue and Medivac capability if required. The OPV TRITON has a RHIB sea rescue boat but does not have these mission system RHIBs embarked. These vessels are provided by the client. The ship does have two high performance davits needed to launch and recover these mission system RHIBs. These RHIBs will need to be sourced before the vessel commences operations and we recommend 2 x 8.5m diesel powered Norsafe units or equivalent.
Ship Fitted Electro Optical Surveillance System (EOSS). EOSS improves operational surveillance and target identification significantly and is also very useful in navigation safety. It has the ability to locate and identify targets in low light and darkness using vision enhancement and infrared technologies.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). UAV's provide for a very effective and relatively inexpensive aerial surveillance capability that was previously only afforded by access to expensive and complex rotary and fixed wing aircraft. There are many different designs available for use aboard ships, both rotary and fixed wing, and they can carry a range of different sensor and communication packages, although the most common used for paramilitary and law enforcement tasks is a camera providing images back to the ship. They also give significant surveillance advantages during SAR, disaster and humanitarian relief operations.
Electronic Charting and Display Information System (ECDIS). OPV TRITON is fiited with an ECDIS but it is approcahing obsolescence. It is recommended an updated system be fitted.
Satellite and Radio Data, Image and Voice Communications Systems. This equipment will underpin the communications security needs of paramilitary and law enforcement activities. This capability is needed to improve the effectiveness of operations. A marine V-SAT system is recommended supported by an appropriate satellite bandwidth plan that will permit the transmission and receipt of operational data including images.
FiFi (Firefighting) System. This equipment will enable the OPV TRITON to assist in fighting fire aboard another ship, an offshore installation or a shore side installation within the ship’s reach. This system could also be used as a deterrent to disperse small boats in the water threatening the security of the ship or other vessels.
Oil Spill Containment and Dispersal System. This system can be containerized and embarked as needed to respond to a marine oil spill that threatens the marine environment and that will likely have economic and health impacts on coastal dwellers, fishermen and tourist dependent businesses.
Recommended Enhanced Capability and Equipment
In anticipation the TRITON will need to operate to the full extent of its maritime boundaries and possibly beyond, and given the increasing threats to maritime security being experienced in the world's maritime regions from criminal activities and piracy, there is merit in considering a ship fitted weapon system that is capable of being used for both self defence and interdiction.
25-30mm Cannon. A 25 - 30mm rapid fire automated cannon would be effective in most paramilitary and law enforcement situations envisaged. This type of system can be fitted without intrusion into the deck, is self contained, reliable and can be operated remotely. The maintenance is sustainable in terms of expertise and cost. The ammunition is common and relatively affordable. The gun fire control for each mount uses an electro optical director (EOD) which would be fitted to the bridge roof.The EOD could also be used as a general purpose EOSS for safe navigation and other activities. The gun fire control panel and EOD display would be located on the bridge which is large on the TRITON and able to accommodate the consoles.
Secure Communications Suite. This involves the means to encrypt information passed by radio and satellite communications to ensure security and to avoid communications disruption through jamming.
Integrated Surface Picture Display and Data Link. One of the likely roles of the TRITON would be to operate as a Command vessel during a multi ship operation and as the Scene of Action Command vessel during a SAR incident. To effect this role properly, the ship would need to have the means to compile a surface picture that displays the location and identity of friendly, unknown and threat vessels present in the operations area of interest. Input into the development of this surface picture would come from the TRITON’s own sensors and ideally the sensors of other cooperating vessels, and possibly aircraft. Information would be transmitted to the TRITON by data link. The TRITON would in turn transmit the composite picture back to the cooperating units and possibly ashore. This surface picture compilation and data link contributes to overall situational awareness needed by Commanders at all levels to make appropriate decisions.