Wärtsilä has launched its RS24 K-band maritime radar, which is capable of detecting far smaller objects and increases safety in busy ports.

The RS24 radar enables visibility of small vessels and other potential hazards close to large ships, promoting safety in congested shipping lanes.

Wärtsilä company Guidance Marine has developed the new technology, which is expected to prove beneficial to cruise ships and ferries that make frequent port calls.

The RS24 K-band radar is featured in Wärtsilä’s IntelliTug project that combines technologies and digital solutions to develop a tug with autonomous navigation.

In areas where penetration of conventional radars is not possible, the RS24 radar will provide the highest possible resolution images in the vicinity of vessels, and simultaneously increases situational awareness.

The images obtained will be integrated with the on-board Wärtsilä Nacos navigational system for complete coverage.

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Guidance Marine business development manager Dr Sasha Heriot said: “This ground-breaking development offers unparalleled close-range fidelity, providing a level of situational awareness that is unprecedented in ship radars.

“This ground-breaking development offers unparalleled close-range fidelity, providing a level of situational awareness that is unprecedented in ship radars.”

“It is a major breakthrough for the marine industry, and is further evidence of Wärtsilä’s success in developing technologies in line with its Smart Marine initiative, aimed at delivering greater efficiencies, improved safety, and better environmental performance for its maritime customers.”

In the first quarter of this year, RS24 will be installed on two cruise ships and its trials are also being carried out for wave detection purposes.

In a separate development, Wärtsilä has secured a contract to install its integrated propulsion and cargo handling solution for a new 30,000m³ LNG vessel, which is being built at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) in South Korea for Knutsen OAS Shipping.

Earlier this month, the company signed an agreement with South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries to develop efficient solutions for LNG carrier and shuttle tanker vessels.