South African delegation visits Sweden for High-Speed Boat Operations Forum

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Representatives from Armscor and South African Special Forces have travelled to Gothenburg, Sweden, to attend the 5th High-Speed Boat Operations Forum (HSBO) where professionals shared experiences and tested high-speed boat technology.

More than 260 international delegates from 27 countries trialled 28 different high-speed watercraft during more than eight hours of boat trials during the three-day event between April 17 and 19.

HSBO is a non-profit, by invitation only Forum which seeks to gather the elite in professional high speed boating to test the latest technology, and discuss challenges and opportunities with the intention of bringing the professional industry forward.

HSBO said it is the only venue in the world where a large number of professional boats can be sea-trialled at full-speed, on open waters and high waves.

Several topics were discussed, including the main challenge facing all public sector organisations: costs and procurement. Many see benefits from fostering cooperation within the industry and between customer and suppliers to generate better results at a lower accumulated cost. This could also include joint interoperability of HSBO platforms.

The presentation that received especially enthusiastic feed-back was the Finnish Navy experiences on High-Speed Boat tasks in “Operation Atalanta”, real world experience in pirate hunting – quite an old game with very new tactics.
“We live in a world with more joint exercises taking place than ever before,” said Johan Jorstadius, Commercial Director for Ullman Dynamics, a founding member of the Forum. “When examining the joint operations around the Horn of Africa, we see the importance of joint inter-operability – still a very hot issue especially for European defence and security interests”.

The scientific programme of the HSBO Forum included the most recent advances in boat operation, hull design, human factors, shock mitigation, crew training and on-board equipment.

Special interest was also drawn towards the presentations on improving how some suspension seats perform vastly different to others. Some actually multiply-shock exposure to pilots and passengers, while others have been proven to significantly reduce exposure and enhance operational efficiency. Other topics included acquisition process optimisation, officially-recognised crew training programmes, and even sniper protection/support.

Representative from Armscor, South Africa, commented on the event “HSBO 2012 was a huge success with topics that covered a wide spectrum of the operational and scientific challenges faced by professional HSB operators world wide. We all left HSBO 2012 better equipped to face today’s operational challenges”.

A special interest group was formed by and for the delegates to continue exchanging experiences on High Speed Boat Operations topics that range from training to procurement.