To meet the rising threat towards merchant ships, AUTOPROTECTION project aims to design, build and test full-scale demonstrator of a new concept of non-lethal protection against maritime piracy.

Selected by ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, in 2013 under the first AMI Ships of the Future program, AUTOPROTECTION project under the auspices of SAGEM is developed by a consortium of French complementary industrials with the objective to develop scalable and effective solutions to protect crews and vessels against piracy.

Thus, relying on the expertise gained in particular through its activities Defense and Oil & Gas, SOFRESUD is responsible for:

  • The development of management system AUTOPROTECTION, implementing key treatments to ensure efficiency and performance of self-protection in a context of crisis (very short reaction time, minimum availability of potentially stressed operators).
  • The development of water repulsion system, including repulsion systems fleet monitoring and automatic servo using aiming system data on detected threats, to prevent unwanted boarding.

Key data

  • Budget: € 12.7 million, which €4.9 million are grants and repayable advances obtained as part of Future Investments
  • Modular and configurable based system according to ships and risks
  • Non-lethal system adapted to the constraints of the Merchant Navy
  • Automatic detection and threat assessment
  • Crew localization

Partenaires du projet AUTOPROTECTION.

The consortium is composed by 9 complementary partners:

  • Sagem, coordinator, provides its products and know-how in optronics, as well as anti-boarding equipment.
  • ECA -Robotics, a company specializing in the design and development of automated systems dedicated to the protection of goods property and persons, brings its expertise in system architecture with the introduction of low-cost solutions, supervision and integration of vessel.
  • V.Navy, now SeaOwl, ship owner specializes in maritime service for the army, and industrials on the defense sector brings the ship "VN Partisan" as AUTOPROTECTION demonstrator, as well as expertise in the field of maritime security.
  • Bureau Veritas, a company specializing in the regulation and certification, brings its expertise to certify and standardize the AUTOPROTECTION KIT.
  • AMEFO , a company specializing in the design, prototyping, development and production of armoured platforms and protection solutions against ballistic attacks, chemical energy weapons and explosive devices, brings its skills to the crew and vessel protection and contributes to the anti -theft function on the ship.
  • Thales Air Systems, subsidiary of Thales Company whose mission is to provide systems and equipment ensuring the air space and maritime security, brings its expertise in radar which covers the knowledge of the electromagnetic environment: propagation, atmospheric clutter and surface ships electromagnetic signature and radar signal processing: detection of useful items and elimination of false alarm.
  • LACROIX, specializing in the areas of protection and safety for the Defence, Policing and Civil Security, brings its expertise to the anti-thefts and anti-progression pirates if they can board.
  • ENSM, training school for future Captains of vessels, brings its expertise in the maritime world and participates in the definition and use of the system.


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