French consortium Autoprotection has unveiled BlueDome, a fully integrated system designed to protect commercial ships against piracy.

The consortium is led by France-based electronics firm Sagem and includes Amefo, Bureau Veritas, Eca Group, Ecole Nationale Supérieure Maritime, Lacroix, Sofresud, SeaOwl and Thales.

This anti-piracy system was presented at the Euromaritime trade show and exhibition in Paris.

BlueDome offers greater security by detecting small craft at long range, analysing its behaviour and also identifying the objects using a day / night optronic turret.

Its capabilities also include implementing remote deterrents, including light projectors and acoustic devices, and anti-boarding measures such as water cannons, smoke grenades.

"BlueDome offers greater security by detecting small craft at long range [and] analysing its behaviour."

In addition, the system ensures the ballistic protection of vulnerable areas and location of crew members.

According to Sagem, the system will be capable of automatically analysing the situation and managing all systems and devices, and enabling the crew to monitor the situation and approve recommended actions from a tablet.

It will also be able to assist the remote operation of sensors and effectors from a secure area on the bridge or any other place in the vessel.

This project was funded by the French environment and energy management agency, ADEME and is supported by the French Maritime Cluster. It also incorporated recommendations from France’s top maritime piracy experts.

Currently, BlueDome is being demonstrated in an at-sea trial on the VN – Partisan, a training vessel operated by the company SeaOwl.

Image: BlueDome offers several successive barriers to protect ships during all attack phases. Photo: courtesy of Safran.