Autonomous Ships (again)

Licenses doesn’t make anybody proficient and Pakistan isn’t “the world”. (Not even “All Asians”)
PS> This is being discussed in a different thread.

Getting back on track here. Will autonomous ships have any fire fighting equipment apart from fixed installations in the engine room? There will be a lot of electronic equipment installed.

Most likely they will. It would be kind of stupid not to consider all possible scenarios and all things that can go wrong on an autonomous and unmanned ship.

Will something be missed initially? Very possible, but that is how things have been improved in the past and will be in the future.

If anybody know everything that can go wrong in advance they must be “stable geniuses” and there ain’t too many of those. (Even so, they may be wrong at times)

I had a reason for asking the question and it is based on reading the latest casualty reports on the MSC Zoe and APL England.
Who maintains the exposed fire fighting equipment to take one example? In my experience the 3rd mate does the leg work under the mates direction with input of the deck crew when required.
When I have looked at the invoices where shore based maintenance is involved the costs are many multiples of the crew wages so I have difficulty in seeing any economic benefit on an autonomous ship.

I think you have to imagine vastly different ship including the propulsion it will be far simpler engineering wise.
I can guess they will be modular so when at a port major components could be changed out so they might be more like a powered barge than a ship we know today?

MOL to test autonomous sailing and berthing/unberthing of a ferry and a coastal container ship this year:

Autonomous boats to take over a boring task:
https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/new-autonomous-guard-vessel-concept-design-set-to-revolutionize-offshore-wind/

I was thinking it could be handy to have some kind of anti-piracy drone ship that can be deployed from any commercial vessel, it would be high speed thing that would be launched and then deploy a long fishing net in bow of high speed craft harassing an innocent vessel, so that the net fowls up the pirates propellers and they can’t go anywhere.

I’m not sure how something like that would comply with Marpol regulations as you’re leaving fishing nets behind, firing rounds of ammunition into the water to scare away pirates possibly also breaches Marpol, but I imagine there are exemptions for extenuating circumstances.

Nice one Spork but,they don’t deserve the nets with ill intentions beforehand. The drones already have bombs and missles. Some kid drone flyer with 50’s would have a blast. Or maybe they are already doing that? Too heavy I suppose.

what is a 50?

2 Likes

It’s jargon for a 50 caliber machine gun.

It would be quite a kid who launches a drone capable of lifting a 60 pound gun with ammunition that weighs a pound for every 4 rounds, much less being able to absorb the shock of firing the thing.

WW2 guys did it. But not from a drone. Badass weapon. As I said , improbable, but they have sneakier shit than that with results. 50’s will wake you up and think you better make an alternate decision. Our guys still use them. wonder why?

1 Like

I was talking about a drone boat, not an airborne one that can disintegrate people with live ammunition.

I’ve seen it first hand how easily a fishing nets can disable boats, having a drone ship that deploys nets to catch in an attackers propellers could be a useful non-lethal defense method.

Have not seen that, would be interesting for the surviving pirates to pass that on. May be a deterrent. Open for anything to protect our mariners.

Ships could just shoot out thin lines of kevlar rope in the path of oncoming pirates, that might have the same effect, kevlar floats so lines of it would get caught in their propellers.

Piracy only seems to be a big problem around Nigerian waters these days, so there might not be a big market for technology to fight it.

Singapore has drone boats with 50’s on them

If they understand what you are doing, they will just lift the outboard’s propeller out of the water.

In the darkness of a small powerboat chasing a big ship pinging off lines of kevlar to foul their propellers I doubt they’d have the capabilities to know when to lift their outboards out the water.

If they do understand and they lift their outboards out the water then they’re stopped and the ship being attacked has more time to get the hell out of there.

I understand some outfit that had an old supply boat that came alongside the vessel outward bound from Singapore Strait heading West and the mercenaries were transferred to the ship. I could never understand why the just simply station a warship there and transfer marines to the ship with their weapons and transfer them off when clear of the pirate area instead of having warships at sea. After all you don’t have to look for the pirates they come to you. Incidentally if the drawings had been made available for the mounting for a 50 cal machine gun, the engine room fitter and welder could have fabricated one onboard. By providing ship’s drawings we could have been advised where best to site the mounting.
I was more familiar with the Oerlikon 20mm cannon which would have been devastating against small craft but was still light enough to be shipped onboard with the troops.