The number of threats posing significant risks to maritime security these days seems to be never ending, always changing, and rapidly growing. Pirates, rogue governments, terrorism; all seem to be organizing an accelerating – and rather freighting – rate. So what can we do? Have the world navies place destroyers in every vital waterway, every ocean or body of water in the world? It would be nice, depending on who you talk to, but unrealistic. The issue has led a number of private companies come up with their own solutions. Some have been good, a lot have been bad, and many have been downright ridiculous.
Now enter GHOST. Developed by the privately held Juliet Marine Systems, a technology systems company based in Portsmouth, NH, the company believes they have the solution for many of the increasing threats to maritime security.
Described as an attack helicopter on water, GHOST is a high-speed attack craft specifically designed to protect vital waterways like the Straits of Hormuz and counter threats such as piracy. With swarm attacks and close-to-shore operation in mind, the GHOST was designed with speed, maneuverability, endurance and the ability to carry a hefty payload.
JMS says that, deployed, GHOST would have the capability to conduct long duration patrols and missions, adding that two squadrons of GHOSTs operating from Bahrain or Djibouti could effectively provide protection to destroyers or cruisers operating within the region.
“No country would be able to keep Iran from closing the Straits of Hormuz without conflict with Iran’s small high-speed boats,” said JMS President and CEO, Gregory Sancoff. “These swarm attacks are the Navy’s equivalent of the IED. GHOST is the counter-IED solution to this hit and run attack weapon.”
As for the GHOST’s firepower, JMS says the possibilities are endless and the company is currently seeking a weapons integrator. The vessel is designed to conceal all weaponry in enclosed bays allowing for an improved radar cross section, reducing GHOST’s radar signature significantly.
So is GHOST practical in the field and a promising solution for maritime security in the Straits of Hormuz or Gulf of Aden? We’ll just have to wait and see. But, one is for sure… the thing looks pretty cool.