Fox News’ Take on Anti-Piracy Weapons

Mike Schuler
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April 15, 2009

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In response to the recent upsurge in pirate attacks, FOXNews.com has put their own list of Ten High-Tech Weapons to Repel Pirates.  All of the items on the list we have described on our own on Top-Ten lists for detering pirates. I’ve listed the items as they appear on the list from Fox, followed our descriptions with links back to articles and other sources.

Fire Hoses – 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.

Remote-controlled fire hoses – Kind of like Unifire’s Pirate Safe Force 80 that we mentioned as number 9 on our second list – Made entirely of marine-grade stainless steel, fully networked, controlled from a safe remote location this automatic ship protection is available with pre-programmed defensive spray patterns and is a truly impressive anti-pirate weapon.

Molotov Cocktails – I’m not too sure how high-tech Molotov cocktails are, but they proved effective when the crew of the ZHEN HUA 4 used them to fight off a group of pirates back in December.  The pirates eventually made it on board but were never able to seize the ship.

Sonic weapons – Long rang acoustic devices, or LRAD, have been used to both successfully and unsuccessfully deter pirate attacks.  The LRAD was first successfully used to foil a pirate attack on a Seabourn Cruise Line luxury cruise back in November of 1995.  However, the LRAD proved unsuccessful in the case of the M/V BISCAGLIA when pirates were able to seize the vessel, even with a 3 man security team on board.  We mentioned the LRAD as number 2 in our first top ten list.

Slippery Foam – As mentioned as number seven in our first list:

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.” Read more at Boing Boing

Rubber Bullets – Number 8 on our first list 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).

Similar to this type of non-lethal munition, we also mentioned Sponge Rounds.  This less-than-lethal ammunition delivers a strong, stunning blow to a threat’s body without penetrating it. The M1006 is a direct fire, low hazard, and non-shrapnel producing projectile.

Electric Fencing – Some say that water and electricity don’t mix.  Others like Secure Marine, makers of the electric fence for ships, might disagree.  After signing an agreement with the company they visit your ship and install a 9000 volt wire fence abound the perimeter of your vessel (source).  Number two on our second list.

Nets – As described in number 8 on our second list, he U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Defense’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) recently conducted a demonstration of a program referred to as Boat Trap. This device involves dropping an entangling net from a helicopter into the path of a boat. The net entangles in the boat’s propeller, forcing the vessel to a safe stop. (Via EagleSpeak)

Blinding WeaponsThe Dazzle Gun is a weapon developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate and it 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.  We list the Dazzel Gun as number 5 on our first list.

The Pain Ray Number four on our first list, the 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.

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

For more on these and more Anti-Piracy weapons, be sure to check out both our top ten lists at the links below:

Anti-Piracy Weapons – Top 10 For Future Use In Somalia

10 More Anti-Piracy Weapons For Use In Somalia

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