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Saab Global

Short term gains - Long time security

3 min read

Dealing with everyday maritime security threats like pirates, while ensuring long-term military security, is a challenge in South East Asia’s littoral areas. We explore how cost-effective, lightweight surveillance equipment adapted for use on offshore patrol vessels can make a difference day-to-day as well as in the long term, should military conflicts arise.


This part of the world sees a number of territorial conflicts and the waterways in the area have some of the heaviest flows of traffic in the world, with around a third of the world’s shipping traffic, including transports to Japan and China, going through the Strait of Malacca. At the same time, South East Asia is a hotspot for pirates and attacks on ships is a widespread problem and a threat both in terms of security and economically.

- The amounts of shipments with valuable loads passing through the region has made it a hotspot for pirates, who target vessels, plundering them for valuable goods or keeping crew for ransom, says Pontus Djerf, Saab’s business unit Surface Radar Solutions.

Offshore patrol vessels play an important part in the regular surveillance of these strategically important waterways and are favoured by coast guards and police authorities as well as navies in the region. They are cost effective and relatively small in size which makes them ideal for 24/7 surveillance.

Although piracy levels in South East Asia remain the highest in the world, recent marine piracy statistics from the International Chamber of Commerce show a significant drop in piracy incidents where the state authorities regularly patrol the coastal areas. Initiatives where marine police advise ships to anchor in certain areas where offshore patrol vessels are present have proven very effective in reducing the number of attacks.

- Surveillance makes a huge difference in keeping piracy incidents down and offshore patrol vessels are key in achieving this. Our lightweight, flexible naval radar Sea Giraffe 1X is ideally suited for everyday use on these vessels. With a minimal number of line replaceable units the maintenance work is straightforward and can be done by engineers with lower level training. This also means fewer human resources can operate the system.

One key issue in South East Asia area is for nations to defend themselves effectively but in a more cost-efficient way. With a number of territorial disputes in the area, it is important for the nations in the region to be ready to defend borders and economic zones. While the Sea Giraffe 1X naval radar is ideal for everyday use during peacetime on the offshore patrol vessels, it also meets the requirements for use by the armed forces in times of conflict.

- Featuring surface and air surveillance capability with its active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, the Sea Giraffe 1X is ideal for use on lighter military vessels, Pontus Djerf continues. This provides excellent value for money as the system can be used day-to-day for surveillance while providing the long-term security needed to provide nations with territorial integrity.

Read more about Saab´s naval radar offer.