How To Defeat Japan's Best Radar Defense System? Use A Fishing Boat

from the ouch dept

A brand new Japanese warship that apparently has the country’s latest and greatest radar system, was unable to spot a fishing boat in its path, leading to a collision and two missing fishermen. This is raising all sorts of questions about the quality of the radar system, but some are saying that the collision was really due to human error and that the radar system is designed more to watch out for missiles in the air, rather than ships below it. That’s a fair enough response, but does point out that vulnerabilities come from all directions — and you can make the best system in the world, but if it’s looking for the wrong thing, it won’t stop something bad from getting through. It does seem rather ironic to set this ship up to be the best in the world at spotting threats from the sky — and forget to include a decent system to find threats right next to it in the sea.

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Comments on “How To Defeat Japan's Best Radar Defense System? Use A Fishing Boat”

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Larry says:

SPY-1 don't work dat way

AC 1 is correct, this ship has a version of the Aegis weapon system. However there are several things to consider (as they aren’t discussed in the news article linked above or any I can find)
1. How far out to sea did this happen? I’m not sure what procedures the Japanese follow for radar their restrictions, but in most areas, that radar (SPY) cannot be radiated in vicinity of land/populated areas.
2. The radar is NOT designed to “see” close aboard. There ARE several systems onboard to designed specifically to deal with close in contacts.
I will say that the Japanese are excellent mariners and shiphandlers, but they may be learning now that with all the automation Aegis is capable of, there is no (repeat: NO) substitute for trained and experienced MK-1 eyeballs using ALL available sensors (visual, radar, etc) to drive the ship around.

Anonymous Coward says:

Aegis is a missle defense system. Blaming that is like blaming the airbags if a safe falls through your cars roof and kills the driver.

The Abrams tank is the best tank around but it has blind spots close up. The Titanic was an unsinkable ship, except for one small (or big, depending on how you look at it) problem.

Shit happens.

Tim says:

Re: Re:

I’m with Anonymous Coward on this one. The Aegis isn’t designed to protect the ship — it’s designed to help the ship track long-range missiles so that a missile defense system (which may or may not be based aboard the ship itself) can shoot them out of the air (theoretically) before they hit Tokyo. Having an Aegis on board has nothing to do with the crew failing to avoid a small boat on the ship.

JustMatt says:

A someone who spent a few years at sea

Yeah,there are several factors here. If the radar was in active or passive mode, how much metal was in the boat, if someone was watching the screen, if they thought it was reflections from the wavecaps, the actual and relative speeds and directions of each boat, etc.

Also, good point about the whales Gene C.

Anonymous Coward says:

Its a good thing the Aegsis Missle Defense system didn’t pick up the boat as a threat. Aegsis isn’t a radar system, it is a ballistic missile defense system. It is connected to anti-missile missiles. Had it read the boat as a threat, it would have automatically blown it out of the water.

Of course, since they just ran the boat over, guess there isn’t much difference.

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