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This paper presents a semiactive shock absorber system, which utilizes the special properties of electrorheological (ER) valves and which is intended to protect sensitive equipment on ships or submarines. It consists of a platform and a base plate, which are connected via an ER damper and an air spring. The resulting acceleration of the platform upon an external shock of the base plate should be significantly reduced while assuring fast and accurate repositioning of the platform after the shock. A control strategy is discussed, which fulfills these requirements using only one acceleration sensor. Simulation studies and measurement results on a prototype prove the feasibility of the proposed system.