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Saab Global
Radar island Saeftingen in the river Scheldt

Saab awarded contract for software upgrades Scheldt Radar Network

3 min read

Saab has been awarded a 6-year contract with Ilionx for software upgrades for both the operational VTS (Vessel Traffic Services) system and the VTS simulator of the Scheldt Radar Network, based on Saab’s MaritimeControl.

Saab’s VTS systems are already in use at the Scheldt Radar Network for decades. The Technical Management Team for the Scheldt Radar Network (BET in Dutch) aims for service continuity and is satisfied with the current radar observation and simulator systems. The software upgrades keep the VTS and Simulator systems up to date and mutually aligned.

“With this contract, our client will be able to keep monitoring the vessel traffic at the current advanced level as well as to keep on modernizing the VTS, in close co-operation with the end users” says Head of Maritime Traffic Management at Saab, Tomas Hjelmberg. “We have a very powerful and flexible VTS platform. A stable traffic image and no down time ensure a platform that our customers can rely on.”

The Scheldt Radar Network is a joint organization of the Flemish Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services and Dutch (Rijkswaterstaat, RWS) governments. The Scheldt Radar Network is considered a role model for international co-operations in the maritime domain. With over 50 radars connected, five main traffic centres and three local traffic centres, the Scheldt Radar Network is the largest VTS in the world. The Scheldt Radar Network also has their own training centre in Antwerp, at which all VTS Operators, Supervisors and Pilots are being trained and certified.

“The original installation was delivered in 1989/1990, since 1991 we have been operating Saab's systems. It is a large platform, used for VTS (Scheldt Radar Network, Wemeldinge/Eastern Scheldt), Ports (North Sea Ports and the Port of Zeebrugge) and the Coastguard: Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) and Maritime Security Centre Navy (MIK). The system outputs to the ports, the Royal Netherlands Coastguard and River Scheldt Pilots (Loodswezen Scheldemonden). In addition, we have an active participation in Saab's customer advisory board.” say Technical Manager at Shipping Assistance Division of the Flemish government, Wim Smets and Technical Manager at Rijkswaterstaat, Leo Steenbakker. “We are very satisfied with Saab's systems, which is why we are entrusting our VTS system and Simulator to Saab for the next six years.”

The contract includes an upgrade every two years to the current version of MaritimeControl, starting from 1-1-2020. The upgraded system will be made available on the test and acceptance platform of the customer (in a private cloud). In this way, the Scheldt Radar Network stays up to date with their software and continues to modernize.

About Scheldt Radar Network

The Scheldt Radar Network as the eye, ear and memory of shipping from the seas to the ports.

The Scheldt Radar Networkis the largest VTS in the world with over 50 radars connected, five main traffic centres and three local traffic centres. The Scheldt Radar Networkalso has its own training centre in Antwerp, at which all VTS Operators and Pilots are being trained and certified. The manned traffic centres are located in Zeebrugge (BE), Vlissingen (NL), Terneuzen (NL), Hansweert (NL) and Zandvliet (BE).

The Scheldt Radar Network operates on a continuous basis, around the clock, every day of the year. Since the Scheldt Radar Network was put into operation, the number of accidents in the VTS area has decreased significantly.