Japanese shipbuilder Imabari Shipbuilding has introduced a unique solution that could help combat two of shippings biggest challenges; piracy and energy efficiency.

The technology, called Aero-Citadel, introduces a streamlined and aerodynamic shape to a ships superstructure and other advances in the vessels accommodation block, engine room , and funnel casing. The design also includes a built in citadel along other piracy prevention measures.

The exterior design was developed through extensive wind tunnel testing that Imabari says could potentially lead to a reduction in wind pressure and drag by up to 25 or 30%.  In the case of cape size bulker, Imabari says, this could lead to a 2% reduction in fuel consumption. The shape also makes it easy to turn the bow of the ship windward during anchorage, and decreases the risk of anchor dragging.

All stairs leading to the bridge are placed on the inside of the superstructure and the entrance on lower level deck is equipped with thicker, reinforced steel doors to make it more difficult for intruders to enter. In addition the stairs and entranceway, the windows are equipped with bulletproof glass, and water cannons are placed on the upper deck to help blast attacking pirates.

The superstructure also includes a citadel with enough supplies to accommodate crewmembers for several days, and is protected by double-layer security doors. Inside the citadel, the facility features communication equipment running on its own independent power source, ship maneuvering equipment that can shut off the main engine and steering gear, and surveillance equipment allowing access to vessel data, including video, picture and sound.

In addition to the unique superstructure shape and anti-piracy measures, the accommodation block features energy efficient LED lighting and noise and vibration insulation for enhanced crew comfort, and a wheelhouse with a widened backward view for safer navigation.

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