A control room full of computers

Here’s an interesting story about a successful response to the seizure of a ship, MV Full City, by pirates in the Indian Ocean. Indian, Chinese, and Turkish (NATO) ships responded, and the pirates abandoned the prize after an Indian Navy aircraft (slightly ironically, a Tupolev Bear) overflew the ship. But the really interesting thing isn’t so much that there was good international cooperation, or even that there were pirates 450 miles off the Indian coast, and certainly isn’t that Indian naval aviation was flying a Tu-142 (they have been for decades).

In fact, it’s that the Chinese Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre was in charge of the whole thing. The China MRCC is based in Beijing (not very maritime, but it is essentially a control room full of computers). The British one is at RAF Kinloss (so presumably will be moving pretty soon) and has coordinated operations everywhere in the world. This is the first time I’ve heard about an oceanic rescue being coordinated from the Chinese one, though. It’s a data point.

Meanwhile, they’re loading up on PhDs.


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