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News

Software development for tackling Somali pirates

Polymorph : 10 June, 2009  (Application Story)
European Naval taskforce is making use of bespoke software developed by Polymorph to provide collaborative information to counter piracy in waters off Somalia
The Royal Navy-led EU NAVFOR, the European Union's first naval task force assembled to protect international shipping in the waters off Somalia, has partnered with Polymorph, one of the UK's fastest growing IT services companies, to develop an intricate collaboration tool that will enable the various vessels that collectively operate under the EU NAVFOR anti-piracy initiative to exchange vital information securely in real-time. For the first time, international military vessels, including ships from the EU to NATO and other nations will be able to quickly and securely communicate and co-ordinate their anti-piracy operations in order to deal with acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast.

The new collaboration tool that Polymorph developed will enable the vessels involved in Operation ATALANTA to overcome current IT and communication systems limitations by providing a single secure framework to enable the counter-piracy task forces to communicate more effectively over a secure channel. The solution provides secure, real-time communication capabilities and document sharing to support the protection of vessels of the United Nations WFP (World Food Programme) delivering food aid to displaced persons in Somalia, and the prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast.

After investigating a number of options, EU NAVFOR chose Polymorph for its proven-track record and expertise in delivering secure, fully-integrated and comprehensive systems. 'The recent outbreak of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast has generated deep concerns globally,' commented a spokesperson from EU NAVFOR. 'Operation ATALANTA is the EU response to the global action in the Horn of Africa to deal with the Somali crisis, which has political, security and humanitarian ramifications. Having reviewed the first six months of operations, we realised the requirement for a secure collaboration tool, to supersede existing systems, which would enable counter piracy efforts within the region.

'We handle sensitive information and needed a secure and fully-integrated solution that would help us not only establish better communication between the various international military vessels present in the Horn of Africa, but also gain control over these increasingly complex and disturbing instances. Polymorph was able to deliver results directly from the onset. The breadth of functionality and collaboration of the tool has provided the necessary cooperative framework that will allow all involved to cooperate effectively with other naval forces and assets deployed in the region,' continued the EU NAVFOR spokesperson.

The template of the collaboration tool will enable military vessels from around the globe to communicate more effectively with each other in international waters, not just in the Horn of Africa. 'The opportunity to work with the Royal Navy, alongside the MoD and EU NAVFOR is an honour,' commented Steve Harris, Managing Director of Polymorph. 'Being chosen after a comprehensive selection process - and standing out from our competition - is a great endorsement of the skills, quality and expertise Polymorph has to offer and we look forward to building on this international project.'

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