Welcome to Maritime Security Week!

Photo: Damen

Ever since a week or two after the al Qaeda Saudi Arabian terror attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, there has been a fairly consistent boom in the security craft sector. While those attacks were directed very specifically at the United States, subsequent lesser incidents have kept the anti-terrorism pot on the boil in most other developed countries.

Simultaneously, we have seen a dramatic increase in illegal immigration activity. Much of that has been inspired by “Jihad”-driven terrorism in addition to the normal causes of poverty and other forms of religious discrimination or persecution.

This has led to vast fleets of harbour, river, port and resort security craft of an equally diverse range of sizes, types and construction materials. The majority of such craft are less than 16 metres in length for inshore security operations. For illegal immigration suppression, the vessels tend to be larger, more in the range of 20 to 60 metres LOA as they normally operate further offshore. The customers are navies, coast guards, police, private security, border forces and immigration departments. They all seem to have plenty of money for quite significant purchases.

Assault Craft • Interceptors • Patrol • Police • Coast Guard • Naval

This 19-year boom has inspired some impressive and innovative new craft and equipment. Hull shapes, engine and propulsion systems as well as electronics, especially devices such as for night vision.

The boats are ever more seaworthy, more comfortable, more economical, more versatile and, usually, faster. In other words, need has improved the breed. They are steadily improving in almost every imaginable way.

Over those two decades Baird Maritime and its predecessor magazines have kept readers very well informed of developments in the security craft sector. This week’s focus will present you with the absolute latest information about it. We trust our feature provides you with many useful and inspiring ideas.

Vessel Reviews:

Features and Opinion:

OPINION | Covid-19 accelerates maritime insecurity in the Asia-Pacific

– “Covid-19 is not hindering state and non-state actors from posing maritime hybrid threats despite national budgets being diverted to crisis response.”

– by Asyura Salleh, Vasey Fellow at the Pacific Forum and special adviser for maritime security at the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies

OPINION | Australia lays down the law in the South China Sea dispute

– “A key element is Australia has made explicit that it rejects the PRC’s claim to “historic rights” in the South China Sea in accordance with the 2016 Arbitral Tribunal ruling.”

by Bec Strating, lecturer in politics at La Trobe University

FEATURE | Sir Rabbie Namaliu: Could naval base draw PNG into future conflict?

– “Asked if PNG might ultimately have to decide between Australia and China, Sir Rabbie replied that ‘hopefully’ matters would not come to that, but PNG would have to assess its own position in accordance with its independent foreign policy.”

– by Brendan Nicholson, defence editor of The Strategist

COLUMN | Naval operations in Asian waters intensifying – edging towards conflict? [Naval Gazing]

– “Washington is pressuring nations to join it in making a stand against Chinese domination of Asian seaways.”

by Trevor Hollingsbee, maritime security expert and columnist

News, Gear and Book Reviews:

Recent Important Features:

COLUMN | Unmanned naval systems poised for operational service [Naval Gazing]

– “After years of development, a number of such systems, capable of sustained blue water deployment, are now on the cusp of operational service.”

by Trevor Hollingsbee, maritime security expert and columnist

COLUMN | PLA Navy in the vanguard of China’s advance [Naval Gazing]

– “Many analysts believe that a major motivation behind Beijing’s moves to dominate the SCS is to ensure a protected operating area, within range of the eastern United States, for PLA Navy SSBNs.”

by Trevor Hollingsbee, maritime security expert and columnist

FEATURE | China’s Gulf of Thailand “resort” island: another pearl in China’s string?

– “But these outposts could serve a strategic purpose for China, such as adding to its naval “string of pearls,” protecting shipping lanes, exploring the Gulf of Thailand’s rich oil and gas deposits, defending Beijing’s expansive claims to the South China Sea, and denying US access to the area.”

– by Charles Dunst, associate at LSE IDEAS, the London School of Economics’ foreign policy think tank

FEATURE | Nuclear-armed submarines and US defence strategy: the future of the maritime deterrent

– “Survivability is the strength and the Achilles’ heel of the SSBN. The extraordinary cost of this nuclear-weapon-deployment scheme is only justified on the basis of survivability, and anything that calls that survivability into question will undermine support for the SSBN.”

– by James J. Wirtz, professor and dean at the School of International Graduate Studies, US Naval Postgraduate School

OPINION | Islands of opportunity: Where India and Australia can work together

– “A joint coordinated effort utilising island territories through mutual access agreements would allow India and Australia to expand its presence and MDA missions beyond their respective individual capacities.”

– by Darshana Baruah, scholar with the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!

Call for content!

Any news or views about the global maritime security sectors? Send it through to [email protected] ASAP (between now and July 31), so we can add it to this current edition of Maritime Security Week!

We are after:

  • Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
  • Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the maritime security sector
  • Interviews – Owners, operators, water police, navies, coast guards etc.
  • Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the maritime security world? (example here)
  • Other – Any other relevant news

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Neil Baird

Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime and Work Boat World magazine, Neil has travelled the length and breadth of this planet in over 40 years in the business. He knows the global work boat industry better than anyone.