Why do ships have two radars?

Ships are often equipped with various types of navigational equipment to ensure safe and efficient journeys across the vast oceans. One of the most critical pieces of equipment on ships is radar, which helps to detect and locate objects in the ship’s vicinity. It’s not uncommon for a ship to have two radar systems on board, but why?

The primary reason ships have two radars is redundancy. In case one system fails, the other can serve as a backup and ensure that the ship can continue its voyage without any interruption. Maintaining consistency and ensuring the safety of the crew and passengers is of utmost importance on the sea, and having a second radar system helps to maintain that continuity even in the event of an accident.

One radar system is often installed on the ship’s masthead, while the second is usually located on the bridge, which is the highest point of the ship. By having two radars at different elevations, the ship’s crew can detect any potential threats from multiple viewpoints, making it less likely that objects or other vessels will be missed.

Another reason for having two radars is that each system serves a different purpose. Typically, one radar system operates on a higher frequency than the other and is used for short-range detection. This radar can provide accurate information about nearby objects and help to detect hazards such as icebergs, floating debris, or other small craft that may be difficult to spot with the naked eye or traditional navigational tools.

The second radar, on the other hand, operates on a lower frequency and provides long-range detection, making it ideal for detecting large vessels and land masses that are farther away. This allows the crew to plan their route well in advance and make any necessary adjustments to avoid any potential obstacles or dangers.

Having two radars on board a ship provides redundancy, enables detection of threats from multiple viewpoints, and serves different purposes, thus ensuring the safety and efficiency of the ship. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense, the critical role these systems play in keeping ships safe and their passengers protected on the high seas cannot be overstated.

Have something to add or correct? Please let us know by clicking here.
* See disclaimer in the footer of the site for use of this content.

Related Questions


Latest Posts

Don't Miss

Our Newsletter

Get the latest boating tips, fishing resources and featured products in your email from BoatingWorld.com!