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Piracy and Crimes at Sea Aren’t Just Happening in Hollywood Movies

Missions & Applications

Imagine. You’re halfway across the Atlantic on a cargo ship, and your boat and its crew are all alone on the open water. You know you’re an easy target for pirates, especially at night. Cargo ships and super-yachts are particularly at risk – the stakes at sea are high, and there’s no one around to help. So how can you protect yourselves?By knowing what’s coming before it arrives. An early warning system lets the crew take preemptive action before an attack occurs. So it’s no surprise that the use of electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensor systems is becoming a necessity on boats and ships of all sizes. They provide that vital early warning of danger, giving personnel time to get help, get away, or prepare for attack.

Commercial and Military Applications

WESCAM’s MX-10MS marinized system is gaining popularity on civilian and military vessels alike. And the reasons are clear: it gives ships the ability to see in the dark, through fog and rain, and across great distances. The sealed, shock-proof, rugged construction is made for harsh marine environments. Sensors enable both daytime and nighttime use, and allow crews to cut though the thick haze and humidity which is so common in maritime environments. The system can be fully integrated with radar, GPS and other tactical mission systems, and it can send vital real-time information to locations afloat or ashore – offering timely warnings or requests for help.

And with the WESCAM MX-10MS, darkness is no longer a place for attackers and smugglers to hide: night-vision capabilities are incorporated into the camera system, so approaching vessels or low-flying aircraft are as visible as they would be during the day.

Keeping the Seas Safe

WESCAM’s marine systems are also in use by law enforcement agencies who operate maritime units, as well as the maritime-based military forces who protect ports, waterways and coastal areas. Their missions? Combat piracy and smuggling, preventing illegal fishing, tracking illegal migration, and providing search and rescue efforts. Through the use of wide-area detection and long-range recognition and identification optics, WESCAM systems offer 24/7 visibility and the time-sensitive intel needed to react to a situation at a moment’s notice.

Protecting our Arctic Waters

As ice melts and recedes, activity in the Arctic is increasing, with everything from scientific exploration and commercial ventures to illegal fishing and resource exploitation. That’s why WESCAM’s systems are in use by the Canadian Forces Halifax-class frigates, which patrol Canada’s Arctic coastlines. The systems provide a big picture view of activities in the area, help in navigation, collision avoidance, man overboard scenarios, covert operations, threat detection, search and rescue missions and more.

The US Navy also relies heavily on WESCAM’s next-generation marine technology. Most recently, WESCAM was awarded a contract that will see MX-10MS systems support a fleet of Military Sealift Command ships deployed to support U.S. Navy ships while at sea. Missions will include real-time situational awareness, reconnaissance and surveillance operations; coastal observation; and navigational hazard documentation in addition to low-visibility and nighttime navigation.  Read more on our Press Release web page on the Military Sealift Command Situational Awareness System Program.

It’s safe to say that WESCAM’s maritime technology is protecting ships, personnel and cargo – and helping keep our seas, coasts and waterways safe. Find out more about systems for maritime applications at or see our videos on YouTube.




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