maritime piracy secure communication with forces

BMP4 Signatories Procedures Regarding Vessel Communication Systems – Theory and Practice


As per IMO’s latest IMO MSC.1-Circ.1339, Circ.1390 and OCIMF’s Practical Measures to Avoid, Deter or Delay Piracy Attacks in all current HRAs, vessels about to transit the HRAs and their shipping companies’ HQs have to take several measures before entering the HRA.

Regarding communication anti piracy measures at sea, vessels are in theory advised to ensure that their ship security alert system (ssas) has been activated, that their AIS is switched on and to also use a VHF device (amongst other measures) while all crew members are securely locked within their ship engine room (ship citadel).

Endless piracy attack incidents and practice over the years however has shown that pirates are also equipped with such above mentioned devices. Result in easily and many times immediately capturing vessel’s info and data which travels outside of the vessel, while on alert and /or under piracy attacks.

At the same time, as advised by major bmp4 signatories, vessels must report, get in touch with and constantly update, depending on their operations area:

  • NATO
  • IMB Piracy Reporting Centre

Communications-Wise While Locked Up In Ship Engine Room (ship citadel)

While locked up in their ship engine room, crew members must:

  • not only have the ability to communicate in real time via a reliable and global two-way communications system, but
  • be able to voice communicate securely (so that pirates cannot intercept their voice communications),
  • be able to send at any time to their HQs their vessel’s GPS report, and
  • be able to text communicate securely with the forces, should the latter need to get onboard

Pirates Destroy/Take Down Completely All Bridge Satellite Communication Systems

Unfortunately as it turns out in most piracy attack cases, even organisations like Inmarsat and their NOC, cannot trace the ship under attack, after been notified some way about the piracy attack incident. Pirates destroy or take down all vessel bridge’ satellite communication systems.

Maritime Piracy Secure Communication With Forces – ASE Citradel ComCenter II

NATO forces as an example, help protect their Allies from any possible threats at sea or from the sea.

Under the need for a vessel under piracy attack to communicate with NATO forces, with an ASE Citadel system installed onboard

Open Webpage Citadel Screen and click on “Enter Chat”:

Under maritime piracy securely communicate with forces over ASE Citadel ComCenter II SatChat - Enter SatChat - bmp4 signatories, email address, Iridium ISU

  1. Type Your Message
  2. Enter either: an email address OR an Iridium ISU
  3. Hit “Send”

when vessel is under piracy attack, from within the ship citadel, enter ASE Citadel ComCenter II SatChat area, type message, enter email address or Iridum ISU and hit Send button. bmp4 signatories, email address, Iridium ISU

Image Credit:NATO