Click to read Part 1 of this Post: 10 Anti-Piracy Weapons For Use In Somalia – Part 1

Pirate Boat

In light of the recent piracy news from Somalia we thought it best to bring you up-to-date on the latest technology being considered for use in deterring pirates. Listed in order of likely effectiveness:

Note: You can view part 2 of this series HERE.

10. Fire Hose

Firehose training aboard ship

The most common means of deterring pirates is with the use of firehoses. A ships crew will line up on deck, activate the large firepumps in the engine room and use the pressurized sea water to knock pirates off of boarding ladders. While this is effective it’s of little use when the boarding craft approaches with it’s 50 caliber machine gun armed.

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9. Automated Fire Monitor

Fireboat Water Canon / Monitor

The next step is a remote controlled fire monitor which can be aimed from a remote location. The only pitfall here is knowing where to place the monitors.

While Unifire’s Force 50 anti-pirate water cannon is impressive most shipboard fire monitors are manual and operate with less force (Video Demonstration).

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8. Crowd Control Munition

The Modular Crowd Control Munition is similar in operation to a claymore mine, but it delivers nonlethal effects to the threat by delivering a strong, nonpenetrating blow to the body with multiple submunitions (600 rubber balls). This round has a wide range of capabilities for tactical, law enforcement, I/R, and US military detention operations. In crowd control, it provides a nonlethal counterpersonnel capability that can be used to break contact, enforce a buffer zone (standoff distance), or demonstrate a show of force. This round is designed to be fired at the center mass of adult threats at ranges of 5 to 15 meters. It has a shot arc covering between 60 to 80 degrees (laterally). (Source Global Security.org)

This type of security can be mixed with stun grenades, cartridge rounds, rubber bullets, tasers and other non-lethal weapons. It’s fairly easy to use and relatively inexpensive but does require the mariner to be properly trained.

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7. Non-Lethal Slippery Foam

The Mobility Denial System is an oil-slick-in-a-can, a combination of “Drilling Mud Additive, Flocculent and water” that renders surfaces as slippery as wet ice. Lots of tasty acronyms and buzzwords on the sell page, including “Anti-Traction Material (ATM)” and “Non-Lethal Slippery Foam.”

Once applied, the material will degrade or impair the adversary’s ability to move. For Interior applications it can be applied to flat, smooth, non-porous surfaces such as linoleum, tile, wood floors or staircases. Exterior applications include sloped, rough, porous surfaces such as concrete, asphalt, and grassy areas. (Source Boing Boing)

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6. Less Lethal Launcher

The TBL-37, manufactured by Bates & Dittus LLC (www.BatesandDittus.com), provides a less than lethal ordnance platform that can fire smoke, flares and low impact explosive charges to deter, delay and defend against potential boarders.  The launcher is chambered in 37mm and made to the highest standards of American workmanship. Constructed of 6061 aircraft grade aluminum and 4140 hardened steel, it is rugged while maintaining a reasonable weight.  It comes with a standard finish of matte black and in the right hands, it appears as a very threatening piece of hardware.

Best of all, it is not subject to licensing in the US and can be transported as ships stores and the price puts it at the low end of available options ($400-800 USD).

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5. Dazzle Gun

The Dazzle Rifle

The weapon, developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate, employs a two-wavelength laser system and is a hand-held, single-operator system for troop and perimeter defense. The laser light used in the weapon temporarily impairs aggressors by illuminating or “dazzling” individuals, removing their ability to see the laser source.

The first two prototypes of the Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response, or PHaSR, were built here last month and delivered to the laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate at Brooks City Base, Texas, and the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate at Quantico, Va. for testing. (Source: Strategy Page)

In addition to a gun mounted system, helicopters are now using a Dazzle Array. Could companies soon mount these on the sides of their ships.

4. Active Denial System

Active Denial System

Active Denial Technology is a breakthrough non-lethal technology that uses millimeter-wave electromagnetic energy to stop, deter and turn back an advancing adversary from relatively long range. It is expected to save countless lives by providing a way to stop individuals without causing injury, before a deadly confrontation develops.

The technology was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Department of Defense’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate. Approximately $40 million has been spent on this technology over the past ten years. (Source: GlobalSecurity.org)

This technology has been tested on reporters with positive effect but has yet to gain widespread use aboard ship.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D0U7mfsa9Y[/youtube]

Wired has more on the ADS system in a this recent article and attached Slideshow

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3. Robot Anti-Pirate Boats

Anti-Robot Boat

The Protector, which comes mounted with a 7.62mm machine gun, wasn’t originally intended for anti-piracy operations. But according to BAE Systems spokesperson Stephanie Moncada, the robot could easily fill that role. “Down the line, it could potentially be modified for commercial use as well,” she says. Instead of being deployed by a warship to intercept and possibly fire on an incoming vessel, a non-lethal variant of the Protector could be used to simply investigate a potential threat.

A favorite tactic of modern-day pirates is to put out a distress call, then ambush any ships that respond. The unmanned Protector could be remote-operated from around 10 miles away, with enough on-board sensors, speakers and microphones to make contact with a vessel before it’s too late. “Even without the machine gun, it could alert the crew, give them some time to escape,” Moncada says. (Source: Popular Mechanics)

While this technology simply makes sense, there are more than a few steps required to launch the boat in the short amount of time between spotting the pirate’s mothership and being attacked.

2. Long Range Acoustic Device

Long Range Acoustic Device

Out of all the weapons mentioned above the only one to have sucessfully thwarted an organized attack by well armed pirates is the LRAD.

LRAD – is a long-range hailing and warning, directed acoustic device designed to communicate with authority and exceptionally high intelligibility in a 15-30 degree beam. LRAD can issue a verbal challenge with instructions in excess of 500 meters and has the capability of following up with a warning tone to influence behavior or determine intent…

LRAD installed on a US Navy vessel, augmenting two machine gun positions. LRAD can be used to alert and deter small boats from approaching the ship, transmitting loud audible warnings. When non lethal force should be used, the crew can use LRAD's loud high power directional audio to engage the target, saving lethal force by machine guns and guns as a last option.LRAD’s ability to positively communicate with authority on land or at sea is proving highly effective in creating safe situations out of uncertain ones. On November 7, 2005 LRAD was first used to foil a pirate attack on a Seabourn Cruise Line luxury cruise. The system was installed as a part of the ship’s defense systems, and was activated when pirates attacked the ship with RPGs 160 kilometers off the Somali coast . The pirates failed to board the cruiser. (Source: Defense Update)

1) Denial Of Ransom

There is little a Somali pirate can do with a large ocean-going ship and few items of value aboard which are easy to transport and sell ashore. The recent hijackings are instead the result of millions of dollars in ransom demands being met by shipowners and brings the number of attacks off Somalia to 61 this year. The pirates are now holding a total of 14 ships and more than 300 crew members according to Noel Choong who heads the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center based in Malaysia. (You can view a chart of the piracy statistic HERE). Stop paying the pirates and many of them will likely find new careers ashore.

You can read gCaptain’s full piracy coverage HERE. Check it out!

Click to read Part 1 of this Post: 10 Anti-Piracy Weapons For Use In Somalia – Part 1

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  • anonymous

    Non lethal weapons just send the problem elsewhere. 20mm through the chest solves one specific pirate's problem permanently.

  • http://anujvelu.blogspot.com/ velu

    An Excellent post. I think the #2 option of LRAD is the most promising one. The #1 option of not paying ransom is unpractical. If the Ship owner doesn't pay ransom, how is he supposed to get his ship back? There is no government and the warships sure arn't doing anything.

    Plus how does he secure the release of the ships crew. We sure can't wait to pay ransom till 10 percent of the crew is executed.

    I think the #1 deterrent to piracy would be a warship with a big gun.

    Cheers,
    Velu

  • http://navagear.com Tim Flanagan

    If it continues, those Blackwater folks may find some new customers. Might be a bargain, relative to the ransom, for a shipper to carry a small squad of guys who really like guns, really know how to use them, and know they can sleep nights after having used them, eh?

  • Capt. Mike

    Tim,

    Yes and they can finally use that boat Blackwater bought from King's Point:
    http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/anti-pirate-w

  • http://www.marinebuzz.com OldSailor

    On many occasions, the ship comes to know only after the pirates have already boarded the vessel. You need more man power and alert lookouts. Also pirates are heavily armed and they approach in speed boats. Only warships can deter them.

  • Alpha Juliette

    Acoustic Hailing devices are step one in the process to determine intent. Once intent is established escalation to a non lethal and subsequent lethal response is warranted.

    The LRAD is not the only game in town the Hyperspike 24 kicks butt on the LRAD in range, size, weight and cost – all critical items when deploying on a ship or platform – have a look at wattre.com.

    Also the LRAD company looks shaky from the financial perspective they have lost 87% of stock value in the last year – ticker ATCO.

    • Smudge

      Yeah I've heard that about LRAD company too. Much more promising is the Magnetic Audio Device or MAD, which I've used loads of time as a private security contractor onboard ships doing Gulf of Aden transits. its much easier to move and compared to the LRAD and Hyperspikes that Ive used is more powerful. We combined it with a makeshift electrified fence around the vessels freeboard on one transit and the pirates didnt even bother firing, they just turned and went and attacked another ship behind us, which they hijacked!

  • henningp

    No. 1 is definitely true – as long as the problem does not affect you/ your ship/ your family…
    From the vessel's point of view nothing else can be done as to be vigilant and alert warships in the vicinity – there is the problem: there are not enough warships in the vicinity, and they do not have a clear order for engagement!
    Danish fregate brings SOmali Pirates back to Somali beach because they do not know what to do with them…. mmmm

    More navy to create and protect a safe corridor through the Gulf of Aden!

  • http://gcaptain.com gcaptain

    Perhaps the best weapon is their own inner turmoil.

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5igGmlfz-K3g6

  • http://www.treesfullofmoney.com/ Ben Dinsmore

    I am afraid that the only weapons we have on ship out of those listed is the fire hose and fire monitor!.

    I'm going to put a requisition in with corporate and see if we can get a couple of those lightening trucks!

  • http://gcaptain.com gcaptain

    Good luck with that! ;)

  • Fred Parle

    As an engineer I read your suggestions with delight. In my book a total waste of good money. A .308 Magnum Elephant Rifle with laser sights will take out a Yamaha Outboard Engine they use at 500 yards night or day. Without any alternative
    propulsion the pirate boats will have to call on their mobile phones for help. Take out the Phone receiver/transmitters with a missile and pirates cannot communicate . After 47 days with a Kalitchnikov at my back I believe that I may be talking from experience , not unworkable or unsustainable dreaming and spin bullshit. Imagine the spare parts for those gizmos alone. Keep it simple and ask the lads and lassies sorry mamseilles, who have been there done that and survived. Vive Le France. Freddo

  • http://www.noruscai.co.uk Hector

    LRAD is the best solution.

  • John Galt

    Regardless of the Wattre employee's garbage spewed above, LRAD is the industry leading capability as tested and verified by the services. HS-24 makes a lot of claims, but they have not made headway in the market for a reason – LRAD products are better. US Navy has selected LRAD as their AHD provider, and recently the US Army has issued a sole source statement which precludes procurement. Pretty darn clear what joint evaluation has discovered as to which AHD is best in the market….LRAD.

  • JGalt

    LRAD is the best solution set. They are the product evaluated and selected by the US Navy to meet stringent operational requirements. Additionally, their systems performance has been verified by joint testing – perhaps this is why the US Army recently posted a sole source statement WRT LRAD products. Bottom line, LRAD X-series is the best AHD out there, and of the 10 listed options, the best non-lethal capability to determine intent and deter hostile targets.

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  • Hugo

    I think it is a bit opportunistic to think that above measures will stop pirates, espicially when nowadays they are heavily armed with rocket launchers, machine guns, grenades, which are produced somewhere as well.
    Best solution is to finally recognize that poverty needs to be eradicated, only then will the seeds of piracy and terrorism be washed away.
    Incentive for piracy is money, if people earn money in different ways, ti support themselve san dbuild up their lives, it take s away the incentive.

  • Hugo

    I think it is a bit opportunistic to think that above measures will stop pirates, espicially when nowadays they are heavily armed with rocket launchers, machine guns, grenades, which are produced somewhere as well.
    Best solution is to finally recognize that poverty needs to be eradicated, only then will the seeds of piracy and terrorism be washed away.
    Incentive for piracy is money, if people earn money in different ways, ti support themselve san dbuild up their lives, it take s away the incentive.

  • Andy

    Hi, I would like to say, LRAD isn't the best option, we have trialled with SBS in Poole UK, (This is our companies Background) and a number of guys walked upto it. Not only this the pirates will just put thinks in there ears. Our company supplies training and equipment for maritime security, These include Running Gear Entanglement system, Covert detection equipment, which fires out smoke, CS & Flash crash, thermal imagery, to give advanced warning. etc etc, None lethal you do have to take in many considerations, But if worked with Lethal as a last resort , This gives a better legal footing. As you have taken all precautions necessary with none lethal equipment, to stop boarding. You then take a lethal approach As last resort. There are many ways to skin a cat and every incident will be differant from the last.
    So Good training to all crew for Anti Piracy , Maybe enough to stop your vessel be taken and your crew being taken as hostage. We run a 5 day course for crews, on Maritime hostile enviroment. please feel free to contact andy@gatorglobal.co.uk

  • Andy

    Hi, I would like to say, LRAD isn't the best option, we have trialled with SBS in Poole UK, (This is our companies Background) and a number of guys walked upto it. Not only this the pirates will just put thinks in there ears. Our company supplies training and equipment for maritime security, These include Running Gear Entanglement system, Covert detection equipment, which fires out smoke, CS & Flash crash, thermal imagery, to give advanced warning. etc etc, None lethal you do have to take in many considerations, But if worked with Lethal as a last resort , This gives a better legal footing. As you have taken all precautions necessary with none lethal equipment, to stop boarding. You then take a lethal approach As last resort. There are many ways to skin a cat and every incident will be differant from the last.
    So Good training to all crew for Anti Piracy , Maybe enough to stop your vessel be taken and your crew being taken as hostage. We run a 5 day course for crews, on Maritime hostile enviroment. please feel free to contact andy@gatorglobal.co.uk

  • Aziz

    Has anyone thought about upending the pirates by sending bogey bait ships with armed teams to take them down?

  • Aziz

    Has anyone thought about upending the pirates by sending bogey bait ships with armed teams to take them down?

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  • ziptang

    I don't understand all this non-lethal crap.

    Real Q-ships, armed with Hellfire, Phalanx, twin .50 mounts, and a platoon of Marines. Problem solved.

  • ziptang

    I don't understand all this non-lethal crap.

    Real Q-ships, armed with Hellfire, Phalanx, twin .50 mounts, and a platoon of Marines. Problem solved.

  • aden mohamed

    read the anti pirate weapons,but it seems the pirates are too tough to handle! why take so much time to tame em? the somalis are……..

  • aden mohamed

    read the anti pirate weapons,but it seems the pirates are too tough to handle! why take so much time to tame em? the somalis are……..

  • Pirate Slayer

    LRAD as a weapon? what a laugh it's a friggin speaker and not even a good one at that!
    ATC has forever lied and BS'd the media on the capability of the LRAD and nothing Woody Norris ever sells goes anywhere, he's in the business of selling stock shares these day's and could care less if the company ever show's a dime to the investors 15 years and counting!
    Media take note Elwood Norris and his band of stooges only lie when they are talking.

    Give me a belt fed BMG MA-Duece and I'll cure your somalia problem and it won't cost ya 35k for a worthless toy noisemaker.

  • Pirate Slayer

    LRAD as a weapon? what a laugh it's a friggin speaker and not even a good one at that!
    ATC has forever lied and BS'd the media on the capability of the LRAD and nothing Woody Norris ever sells goes anywhere, he's in the business of selling stock shares these day's and could care less if the company ever show's a dime to the investors 15 years and counting!
    Media take note Elwood Norris and his band of stooges only lie when they are talking.

    Give me a belt fed BMG MA-Duece and I'll cure your somalia problem and it won't cost ya 35k for a worthless toy noisemaker.

  • john

    just shoot them simple and stop all this nonsese

  • john

    just shoot them simple and stop all this nonsese

  • Adamek Yak

    The UN should get together and clean up the whole coast line of Somalia along with the pirates. If they do not it will grow a lot worse. Let us not look for small solution. The only thing the pirates will respect is force.

  • Adamek Yak

    The UN should get together and clean up the whole coast line of Somalia along with the pirates. If they do not it will grow a lot worse. Let us not look for small solution. The only thing the pirates will respect is force.

  • Tom Ascher

    Simple solution. Have cargo ships equipped with device that takes out steering when attacked. Then, pirates have no way to bring booty home. Ship will just meander out of control until navy vessels can arrive and confront.

  • Tom Ascher

    Simple solution. Have cargo ships equipped with device that takes out steering when attacked. Then, pirates have no way to bring booty home. Ship will just meander out of control until navy vessels can arrive and confront.

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  • http://www.shipguard.eu/ Jim Cowling

    Weapons are a proven deterrent. Not one armed vessel has been hijacked. End of story. A very visible team of ex-RM types armed with HV and intelligently applied razor-wire will send pirates elsewhere. Regards, JimC http://www.shipguard.eu

  • http://www.shipguard.eu Jim Cowling

    Weapons are a proven deterrent. Not one armed vessel has been hijacked. End of story. A very visible team of ex-RM types armed with HV and intelligently applied razor-wire will send pirates elsewhere. Regards, JimC http://www.shipguard.eu

  • Steven Decatur

    Thomas Jefferson would call this a wimpy response. Truth is, the solution is to pull into their ports and shell their towns. Much as the US Navy did during the Barbery Pirate's actions. Further, the merchantmen need to protect themselves ACTIVELY. This means they need to be armed in some manner. There is no reason a container carrier couldn't carry a couple of pods with some BOFORS cannons and blow the scumbags out of the water. Further, individual scumbags found at sea should be SUMMARILY hung by the ship's captain that catches them. No need for trial. It's the high seas. Much like the law of land warfare – there is solution already for this type of behavior but folks are too squeamish to apply them. There is no right to due process for non Americans. So screwem.

  • Steven Decatur

    Thomas Jefferson would call this a wimpy response. Truth is, the solution is to pull into their ports and shell their towns. Much as the US Navy did during the Barbery Pirate's actions. Further, the merchantmen need to protect themselves ACTIVELY. This means they need to be armed in some manner. There is no reason a container carrier couldn't carry a couple of pods with some BOFORS cannons and blow the scumbags out of the water. Further, individual scumbags found at sea should be SUMMARILY hung by the ship's captain that catches them. No need for trial. It's the high seas. Much like the law of land warfare – there is solution already for this type of behavior but folks are too squeamish to apply them. There is no right to due process for non Americans. So screwem.

  • ryan

    i dont understand this crap about non leathal weaponry they are pirates, the shipping comarny should buy an ar-15 for the crew, train them how to use it and arm the ship with a few 20mm cannons, much less expensive than paying ransom, much more effective than some speaker crap.

  • ryan

    i dont understand this crap about non leathal weaponry they are pirates, the shipping comarny should buy an ar-15 for the crew, train them how to use it and arm the ship with a few 20mm cannons, much less expensive than paying ransom, much more effective than some speaker crap.

  • Smudge

    Yeah I've heard that about LRAD company too. Much more promising is the Magnetic Audio Device or MAD, which I've used loads of time as a private security contractor onboard ships doing Gulf of Aden transits. its much easier to move and compared to the LRAD and Hyperspikes that Ive used is more powerful. We combined it with a makeshift electrified fence around the vessels freeboard on one transit and the pirates didnt even bother firing, they just turned and went and attacked another ship behind us, which they hijacked!

  • Tom

    This is nuts. You name your town, anywhere in the USA and the local police are armed. They have a hand gun, shot gun and an AR-15. Who are they armed against? US citizens who might give them trouble. Evey bank, 7-11, etc, has someone pick up and or deliver money, these guys are armed. A cargo vessel or tanker has 100's of millions of dollars worth of cargo. No armed protection? Only willing to use non lethal defenses? WTF? Who are these pirates that are armed with heavy machine guns and rockets willing to kidnap and kill ship crews that they deserve to have non lethal force when the average US citizen does not get this? Why are we going through all this expense robot boats super speakers and other contortions when a 50 cal and a few big guns is what is needed. I am sure there are plenty of cargo ships out there that are independently armed to the teeth. I have no doubt on this. It's not reported by the PC press. But its time we take this threat seriously a deal with it.

    • http://www.shipguard.eu/ Jim Cowling

      Well said Tom! My company (Shipguard) has a hundred former Royal Marines, an arsenal to die for (excuse the pun); and we can't get any business because they think we are going to start WW3! Hardly. I am becoming increasingly amazed and frustrated at how stupid people in high places can be. On one of our courses recently, we were audited by a top man from the UK Govt. While discussing search techniques, I started telling delegates what the law says about the use of force. He starting shouting that we can't use force. So I asked him what he would do when conducting a personal gate search if he found someone was carrying – he said 'You mustn't touch them, just follow them around and report if they do anything'. No wonder we're in such a mess. PC gone horribly wrong. We have a bunch of academic pen-pushers and box-tickers in charge who are afraid of litigation and have no practical experience and understanding of security. Idiots.

  • Tom

    This is nuts. You name your town, anywhere in the USA and the local police are armed. They have a hand gun, shot gun and an AR-15. Who are they armed against? US citizens who might give them trouble. Evey bank, 7-11, etc, has someone pick up and or deliver money, these guys are armed. A cargo vessel or tanker has 100's of millions of dollars worth of cargo. No armed protection? Only willing to use non lethal defenses? WTF? Who are these pirates that are armed with heavy machine guns and rockets willing to kidnap and kill ship crews that they deserve to have non lethal force when the average US citizen does not get this? Why are we going through all this expense robot boats super speakers and other contortions when a 50 cal and a few big guns is what is needed. I am sure there are plenty of cargo ships out there that are independently armed to the teeth. I have no doubt on this. It's not reported by the PC press. But its time we take this threat seriously a deal with it.

    • http://www.shipguard.eu Jim Cowling

      Well said Tom! My company (Shipguard) has a hundred former Royal Marines, an arsenal to die for (excuse the pun); and we can't get any business because they think we are going to start WW3! Hardly. I am becoming increasingly amazed and frustrated at how stupid people in high places can be. On one of our courses recently, we were audited by a top man from the UK Govt. While discussing search techniques, I started telling delegates what the law says about the use of force. He starting shouting that we can't use force. So I asked him what he would do when conducting a personal gate search if he found someone was carrying – he said 'You mustn't touch them, just follow them around and report if they do anything'. No wonder we're in such a mess. PC gone horribly wrong. We have a bunch of academic pen-pushers and box-tickers in charge who are afraid of litigation and have no practical experience and understanding of security. Idiots.

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