China Navigation Signs Contract for Sperry Marine Connected ECDIS


Published Jun 30, 2021 5:33 PM by The Maritime Executive

Sperry Marine has received a fleet-wide order for its new SperrySphere Connected ECDIS, with a roll-out to 36 vessels operated by The China Navigation Company (CNCo), a member of the Swire Group. Connected ECDIS is the latest addition to Sperry Marine’s portfolio of smart bridge solutions, connected via the unique SperrySphere platform.

A long-standing Sperry Marine customer, China Navigation has agreed to upgrade 24 of its bulk carriers and 12 of its containerships with Connected ECDIS, simplifying and securing the transfer of chart data from back of bridge to the regulated navigation systems.

Connected ECDIS supports improved cyber risk management by removing the need to use USB memory devices when transferring electronic chart data. It enables vessels to update navigation charts digitally, with data passing through Sperry Marine’s Secure Maritime Gateway (SMG). 

This provides a high degree of operational flexibility and a convenient means of performing chart updates with cyber security that exceeds IEC standards, with no risk of infection from the USB stick. 

A key component of the cyber security defences available to ship operators, the SMG uses multiple firewalls and a ‘demilitarised zone’ as a staging post between front and back of bridge to ensure there is no direct connection between the navigation systems and the ship’s main IT network. The system allows secure transfer of chart updates from any compliant data provider.

“ECDIS is one of the most vulnerable shipboard systems to cyber-attack since it receives regular updates and is also critical to safe and compliant navigation,” says James Collett, Managing Director Sperry Marine. “Employing the Secure Maritime Gateway means China Navigation will enjoy faster, simpler and more reliable chart updates with a high level of cyber security.”

“We wanted to reduce the reliance on manual ECDIS updates and mitigate cyber risk by removing USBs from the chart update process,” said Gerry Bonner, General Manager Fleet Services, The China Navigation Company. “With cyber security incidents presenting a major concern for shipping, Sperry Marine’s Connected ECDIS gives us the opportunity to drive digitalization in our fleet, improve operational efficiency and increase cyber safety.”

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.