Pim van de Koppel conducted research on the deployment of weapon system PHAROS-DART, which defends naval vessels against threats such as anti-ship missiles at very close range. He was presented with the Maritime Security Award at the Maritime Awards Gala on 6 November.

The Maritime Security Award looks at the best new insights, concepts or innovations that contribute to improving security at and from sea. The award is presented to students who have carried out their research as part of an educational programme in a maritime field.

The other nominees for this award were:

  • Max van Zanten with his research on protecting a High Value Unit from an enemy submarine.
  • Paul Limpens with a theoretical and experimental analysis of performance of a propeller under oblique inflow.

Also read: All Maritime Awards nominees revealed

PHAROS-DART research

PHAROS-DART is a Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) designed to defend naval vessels against threats such as anti-ship missiles at very close range. DART is a guided projectile fired from a 76 mm cannon. The PHAROS radar uses a guidance beam to guide DART towards the target. In this study, LTZ3 Pim van de Koppel, for his studies at the Netherlands Defence Academy (NLDA), investigated the use of PHAROS-DART against threats above maximum gun elevation.

To use PHAROS-DART to eliminate this type of threat, the DART projectile will have to be adjusted after firing. In this study, two guidance methods were investigated for this purpose. A method where Generalised Vector Explicit Guidance (GENEX) is implemented and a method where DART’s accelerations are maximised.

Winner Maritime Security Award
Winner Pim van de Koppel in the centre (picture by SWZM/G.J. de Boer).

The Royal Netherlands Navy is engaged in a replacement programme for the Goalkeeper CIWS. A key component of this is PHAROS-DART. PHAROS-DART is being developed by Thales Netherlands and will be placed on board several Dutch naval ships in the future. This research can therefore contribute to the development of a weapon system that the navy will actually use.

‘Pim stood out compared to the other innovations, in part because of the direct applicability and operational relevance of his research. His knowledge and results help the manufacturer create the systems that defend Dutch naval vessels,’ the jury said.

Picture (top) from SWZ|Maritime’s October 2023 Maritime Awards nominee special.

Maritime Awards Gala

Every year during the Maritime Awards Gala, over 900 maritime professionals meet to celebrate the innovative strength of the Dutch maritime sector together with the press, politicians and the nominees for the five maritime awards. In addition to the Maritime Security Award, the Maritime Talent Award, Maritime Achievement Award, Maritime Innovation Award, and Ship of the Year Award are presented. This year, the Gala took place on 6 November at Ahoy Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Also read: Dutch Navy’s Van Hengel-Spengler Award goes to Unmanned Dipping Sonar Boat design