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RGClark
2009-Apr-15, 05:38 PM
Reaper image (http://blog.800hightech.com/wp-content/uploads/mq-9-reaper.jpg)
MQ-9 Reaper.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MQ-9_Reaper

The "Reaper" is the successor to the well-known "Predator" unmanned aerial combat craft. It can fly at a higher speed, up to 300 mph, and a longer range, up to 3,200 nautical miles. It can also stay aloft for long periods, from 14 to 28 hours depending on armament load.
The latest news tells of four more ships hijacked by pirates since the American captains rescue and another American ship placed under attack by pirates 200 miles off the Kenyan coast. The problem is because of the large area, 1100 miles along the Somalian, Indian Ocean coastline and 300 miles along the Kenyan coastline, it is not possible to patrol the entire area by surface ships:

Map (http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2007/20070409_mapsomalia.gif)

If it were possible to place a "Reaper" station every 400 miles along the Somalia and Kenyan coast, then one could reach any ship under attack within 200 miles off the Somalia or Kenyan coast within an hour. This would require 3 stations in Somalia and 1 in Kenya.
However, because of the unstable political situation in Kenya and Somalia this may not be permitted. Kenya is more stable than Somalia. It might be possible to place one station there. Then because of their long range and flying times, you would have to keep several Reapers aloft at all times even up all along the Somalian coast and have them return to the Kenyan base for refueling.
Another possibility might be to have the Reapers be ship-based. According to the Wikipedia article the U.S. Navy has ordered a naval version of the Reaper called the "Mariner", which presumably could launch from aircraft carriers. I don't know however if this is operational yet. Rather than having a full carrier group being based in the area, it might be possible to launch them from a smaller WASP class helicopter-carrier type ships:

USS Wasp image (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/60/USS_Wasp_%28LHD_1%29.jpg)
Wasp class amphibious assault ship.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasp_class_amphibious_assault_ship

To help with take off on the short runways they could use jet or rocket assisted take off:

JATO and RATO.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assisted_take_off#JATO_and_RATO


Bob Clark
Edited by moderator Swift to convert hotlinked images to links

Nicolas
2009-Apr-15, 05:41 PM
I seriously thought you were going to propose to raise global temperatures. ;)

nauthiz
2009-Apr-15, 05:48 PM
I seriously thought you were going to propose to raise global temperatures. ;)

Well, those things burn fuel don't they?

geonuc
2009-Apr-15, 05:56 PM
So what is the Reaper supposed to do when it gets to the scene an hour after the hijacking occurred?

RGClark
2009-Apr-15, 06:59 PM
So what is the Reaper supposed to do when it gets to the scene an hour after the hijacking occurred?

It takes time for the pirate boats to finally reach the ship. All large ships have radar that can even detect small boats. Ships also have distress calls that can be used to alert the Reaper crews to direct the aircraft to the area.
In most cases it took quite a bit of time between when the crew of the ship became aware of the pirates and when the ship was finally boarded.


Bob Clark

MAPNUT
2009-Apr-15, 07:09 PM
Very nice, RG. Just having those things fly back and forth all the time at low altitude might be a deterrent.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-15, 07:11 PM
According to the commander of RN anti piracy force the pirate boats don't show up on radar, they have no mast or superstructure, they are just little 'skiffs' powered usualy by an outboard motor, they head out to sea overnight and wait in the shipping lanes and attack at dawn. A distress call from the ship is usualy the first indsication they have of an attack.

If the crew can give 30 - 40 minutes notice or hold off the pirates for that long then help can arrive. If they get aboard it becomes a hostage situation and theres little a warship or aircraft can do.

His suggestion was a secure superstructure that could be barred against the pirates.
ULtimately the only solution would be to go for their shore bases and destroy the boats.

RGClark
2009-Apr-15, 08:33 PM
Just saw this article that argues for UAV's to do surveillance overflights and alert shipping if they see small boats far off the coast that could be pirate boats:

Overflight, Overflight, Overflight - The Missing Component To Combatting Piracy
April 11th, 2009
http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/somalia-piracy-solutions-overflight/

Here is a small reconnaissance only UAV that is easily launched from a catapult launcher. It was used to observe from the air the recent kidnapping of the American captain:

Boeing ScanEagle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ScanEagle

The GCaptain web site also mentions an attempted pirate hijacking occurred as far as 900 nautical miles (!) off the Somali coast.
So if the combat UAV's are to be used, you may need them to be on permanent duty, that is, one always in the air at all times patrolling a particular area, since 900 miles from the coast might result in too long a response time if it took off from a coastal station only when alerted.
If the area to be patrolled is 1400 miles by 1000 miles, that's 1,400,000 square miles. If you want a Reaper at 300 mph to reach a spot inside a 300 mile radius within an hour, that's a patrol area of 600 mi x 600 mi= 360,000 square miles. Then only four of them would be required to do this. If you wanted the response time to be within only a half-hour that could be done with 4 times as many or 16.
Note though this is only the number that are in the air at once. Several more would have to be on the ground getting fueled, serviced, etc.


Bob Clark

Ara Pacis
2009-Apr-15, 08:43 PM
Well, they could use IR detection instead of RADAR, if the drones can be so equiped.

However, it may become a legal dilema about when to attack. After all, it's international waters and even the pirates have the right of passage until they actually are identified as pirates, which may not be until they attack. If the military, any military, attacks any boat coming out of Somolian and/or Kenyan territorial waters, then interdiction might be construed as a blockade, which is considered an act of war.

Larry Jacks
2009-Apr-15, 08:56 PM
One thing UAVs offer is persistent surveillance. They can orbit and observe movements over a large area for extended periods. You may not be able to detect a pirate boat before the fact but after they've attacked a ship, you can playback the observation data to see where they came from. This can be very useful for identifying the mother ships. Especially for those attacks happening a few hundred miles from the coast, taking out the mother ships is more effective than taking out individual boats. A Reaper can carry a substancial weapons load (JDAMS and laser guided bombs, Hellfile missiles, etc) and can directly engage far faster than calling in a ship or air strike.

This technique has been tested and found useful in Iraq. They fly over an area recording everything, then playback the data following an IED attack to trace movements back to the bomb factories. It doesn't work every time, obviously, but it has worked many times.

Fazor
2009-Apr-15, 08:59 PM
Just a quick aside; Every time I see this thread title I read it as "A solution to the Salmonella pirates." Stupid brain.

Larry Jacks
2009-Apr-15, 09:05 PM
Hellfire missiles do a number on salmonella bacteria, too.

Swift
2009-Apr-15, 09:21 PM
Hellfire missiles do a number on salmonella bacteria, too.
Really, the only way to be sure is to nuke them from orbit. :p

antoniseb
2009-Apr-15, 09:31 PM
There are more than one side to this Somali thing. It IS true that these guys in little boats are seizing boats and holding them for ransom, but they are also Somalia's coast guard, and are out preventing people from dumping toxic and nuclear waste into the ocean near Somalia. This is a tough thing to fund in a country with no real government.

I am not saying that piracy is justified. It isn't. But many of the men in these boats believe they are doing a noble thing. It would be pretty unethical to find a solution that kills them all without discriminating between the good and the bad.

ringtopia
2009-Apr-15, 09:36 PM
this thread makes no sense. everything that is proposed so far is more of a problem than a solution for the pirates.

mike alexander
2009-Apr-15, 10:04 PM
Just demand they surrender in the name of the Queen.

Nicolas
2009-Apr-15, 10:22 PM
Really, the only way to be sure is to nuke them from orbit. :p

I've got an upcoming company exam. When I don't know the answer, I'll just write:

As we all know, nuking from orbit is the one size fits all solution to any problem you may or may not have. Therefore, it appears also applicable to the problem described in question 3.c.

Nicolas
2009-Apr-15, 10:27 PM
Well, they could use IR detection instead of RADAR, if the drones can be so equiped.


I think both systems are suitable to detect pirates, as they're looking for the right clues:

RAD-ARRR and I-ARRR.

Ara Pacis
2009-Apr-15, 10:45 PM
I think this situation is the perfect need for the Atomic Laser Dirigible I've been developing. It's a nuclear powered high-speed and high-altitude that uses directed energy weapons (and other conventional weapons) to patrol vast territory against soft and semi-hard targets. All I need now is grant money. :-)

Swift
2009-Apr-16, 01:59 AM
Just demand they surrender in the name of the Queen.
That only works for pirates who are all "single gentlemen".

sarongsong
2009-Apr-16, 02:16 AM
...they are also Somalia's coast guard, and are out preventing people from dumping toxic and nuclear waste into the ocean near Somalia......in addition to stealing their fish!
April 14, 2009
(Author) Mohamed Abshir Waldo: ...Fishing piracy means fishing without license, fishing by force...The countries engaged...in this very profitable fishing business include...France, Spain, Greece, UK, Norway, Russia, Taiwan, Philippines, Korea, China. You know, it’s a free-for-all coast...these fishermen-turned-pirates, had no alternative but to protect themselves, to protect their turf...
democracynow.org (http://www.democracynow.org/2009/4/14/analysis_somalia_piracy_began_in_response)

korjik
2009-Apr-16, 03:32 AM
Cut off parrot trafficing to Somalia. That will at least keep the problem from getting worse

Metricyard
2009-Apr-16, 04:49 AM
I think that we should just have some geneticists try and put together a Kraken.
Oh the fun we could have.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-16, 02:39 PM
ULtimately the only solution would be to go for their shore bases and destroy the boats.
Ultimately the solution is to get Somalia built up to a state where people aren't forced to turn to piracy to make a living.

flynjack1
2009-Apr-16, 03:02 PM
Radar has much greater range than electo optical/Infra red EOIR sensors. Radar is used to detect and EOIR is used to identify and sort targets. UAV operations would be helpful but enforcement would still require some at sea response due to the necessity to deconflict targets. Additionally, UAV operations are much more expensive than is commonly admitted in the press. Still this would be a good supplement to ships on station. Ultimately a political solution to Somalia is desperately needed. I would think that some companies could provide ship board security to vessels transiting these waters while all the above is engaged in.

Fazor
2009-Apr-16, 03:53 PM
The real question is whether or not more on-board "security" (ie., weapons) would deter the pirates, or turn the situation even more violent. I don't know.

Though I don't really understand the logistics of this type of hijackery; to me it seems the large barges would have such a huge tactical advantage over anyone trying to board from a smaller craft that it'd be easy to repel the pirates. Though, believe it or not, there's not a lot of barges that operate here in central Ohio, so my exposure to these craft is pretty limited.

lek
2009-Apr-16, 05:18 PM
Radar has much greater range than electo optical/Infra red EOIR sensors. Radar is used to detect and EOIR is used to identify and sort targets. UAV operations would be helpful but enforcement would still require some at sea response due to the necessity to deconflict targets. Additionally, UAV operations are much more expensive than is commonly admitted in the press. Still this would be a good supplement to ships on station. Ultimately a political solution to Somalia is desperately needed. I would think that some companies could provide ship board security to vessels transiting these waters while all the above is engaged in.

I'm with Nicolas here, if it was UAV-ARRR, that would cut it quite nicely.
On more serious note, sure, some drone patrol might work as deterrant, even if it didn't have significant direct effect.

flynjack1
2009-Apr-16, 06:50 PM
SAR would work nicely, but before a shoot - no shoot decision is made it would require real time imagery or surveillance to insure for instance that the pirate vessels didnt have hostages aboard etc. All doable but not cheap or easy.

One has to wonder how many pirates have to go to Davy Jones locker before they call it a day and search for other sources of income. The price will have to get higher though before these guys evaluate their way of making a living.

Nicolas
2009-Apr-16, 07:11 PM
SARRR sounds like a suitable system.

If you're looking for drones, I'd go for the UAVAST type.

About small boats entering large vessels: the small ones are far more maneuvrable, so if the seas are calm and the large vessel isn't going very fast, it is very easy to get alongside. To get aboard is something else though, but with the right equipment and mindset not very difficult in itself. But, the lower position should be a tactical disadvantage, making things hard. however, if the low position is the only armed position, that doesn't really count anymore...

captain swoop
2009-Apr-16, 08:20 PM
Apparently they use ladders or ropes with grappling hooks.

Last year they made more than $50 million in ransom money, they aren't going to quit anytime soon.

RalofTyr
2009-Apr-17, 05:20 AM
Drones are nice, but you're more likely to blow up refugees than pirates.

Ships are going to have to hire guards to protect against pirates. Pirates are attacking because those ships are easy targets. No pirate wants to get shot.

These ships could move into heavier seas, away from the Somali coast. Those skiffs are good, but not on heavy seas.

Nicolas
2009-Apr-17, 07:59 AM
Apparently they use ladders or ropes with grappling hooks.

Last year they made more than $50 million in ransom money, they aren't going to quit anytime soon.

I use rope ladders to get on board of these (http://www.theartofdredging.com/DEME30k.jpg) from these (http://www.microskiff.com/images/glades-skiff-1.jpg), and while it can be a bit tricky, normally it ain't the hardest thing ever. You have to be careful though. On the other hand, in my case most people on board are not trying to kill me while I enter their ship.

With just a rope it's a bit trickier I can imagine, but again not extremely hard.

geonuc
2009-Apr-17, 08:51 AM
These ships could move into heavier seas, away from the Somali coast. Those skiffs are good, but not on heavy seas.
The pirates are ranging well into the high seas, using mother ships. And the Gulf of Aden is not that wide.

Nicolas
2009-Apr-17, 11:45 AM
At a significant wave height of 1,5m, you'll get soaking wet in these skiffs and will have to seriously reduce speed. At two meters Hs, you start reaching the limits. The skiffs I used are quite comparable to those used by the Somalian pirates. I'm not a pirate, for the record. :)

dhd40
2009-Apr-17, 03:34 PM
Apparently they use ladders or ropes with grappling hooks.

Last year they made more than $50 million in ransom money, they aren't going to quit anytime soon.

I still donīt get it. Medieval knights used hot bitumen to ... :( Well, it sometimes didnīt help either :sad:

Donīt misunderstand my comments. I fully agree with HenrikOlsenīs statement "Ultimately the solution is to get Somalia built up to a state where people aren't forced to turn to piracy to make a living"

jfribrg
2009-Apr-17, 03:48 PM
Sooner or later, the shipping companies are going to have to resort to convoys. It's a logistical nightmare, but if things keep escalating, it may come to that. Right now, its cheaper to pay the ransom than to protect every ship. If the costs increase, and especially if the hijackings turn more violent, then there may be no choice but to protect every ship. The only economical way to do that is to sail in giant convoys.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-17, 07:13 PM
Convoys would be difficult, how would you enforce it? also the number of ships is high as you have to go that way to get up to the Suez Canal. Also the last US ship attacked earlier this week wasa heading to Africa with food aid.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-18, 08:15 AM
Once convoys start happening, it probably won't need much enforcing other than "Not in a convoy, not our problem."

captain swoop
2009-Apr-18, 09:59 AM
where would they start and finish? It's not like a single seaway with one destination at each end, it's a whole section of the Indian Ocean up into the Red Sea almost.

Doodler
2009-Apr-18, 07:22 PM
Solution: Stop taking prisoners.

Nicolas
2009-Apr-18, 07:23 PM
I use rope ladders to get on board of these (http://www.theartofdredging.com/DEME30k.jpg) from these (http://www.microskiff.com/images/glades-skiff-1.jpg), and while it can be a bit tricky, normally it ain't the hardest thing ever. You have to be careful though. On the other hand, in my case most people on board are not trying to kill me while I enter their ship.

With just a rope it's a bit trickier I can imagine, but again not extremely hard.

And just one day after I post how we use skiffs to enter dredge vessels, one of our (like all aerospace engineers, I work for a dredging company...) dredge vessels gets hijacked by Somalian pirates! It's heading for the coast as we speak. No demands have been made yet, but there is visual confirmation that it's been captured by pirates.

On top of that, my sister is likely going to join a navy vessel to guard the area. They are planning on organizing freighter convoys as one of the solutions, and they'll use hospital-equiped navy vessels to allow them to operate (no pun intended) further up the ocean (the reason being the limited range of helicopters, and a hospital needs to be within flying distance for any operation-again no pun intended- they're going to perform).

So in one day, these pirates suddenly get very close to home for me...

captain swoop
2009-Apr-19, 09:27 AM
Solution: Stop taking prisoners.

Who should stop taking who as a prisoner?

At the moment the problem is the pirates take the crews prisoner and hold them for ransom.

Using force to free them will start resulting in the deaths of crews. Look at the French attack that resulted in the death of the yacht skipper.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-19, 10:56 AM
Who should stop taking who as a prisoner?
Knowing Doodler's normal way of thinking, the alternative he suggested was to kill them outright.

danscope
2009-Apr-19, 12:45 PM
I should think that a half dozen A-10 Warthogs could turn the somali pirate navy into collanders in a matter of a few days. Good practice.
They come in low and they don't miss. Sink anything longer than 30 feet.
" I have seen America. Their industrial might is awesome."
Admiral yamamoto

captain swoop
2009-Apr-19, 02:06 PM
How would you tell they were pirates? they don't fly a jolly roger. Most coastal fishing vessels are under 30 ft.

Helicopters would be a better use of airpower than an A10. Still have the problem of acquiring a target though.

Rue
2009-Apr-21, 04:26 PM
A short term solution might be to grant some sort of power of arrest to the NATO ships.
There is reluctance to resort to a more forceful response, even though these pirates have RPGs.

Canadians nab pirates after 7-hour chase in the dark
Without sanctions to make arrests, sailors forced to disarm and release Somali bandits (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090420.PIRATES20ART2257/TPStory/International)

raptorthang
2009-Apr-21, 07:23 PM
Well, they could use IR detection instead of RADAR, if the drones can be so equiped.

However, it may become a legal dilema about when to attack. After all, it's international waters and even the pirates have the right of passage until they actually are identified as pirates, which may not be until they attack. If the military, any military, attacks any boat coming out of Somolian and/or Kenyan territorial waters, then interdiction might be construed as a blockade, which is considered an act of war.

So true. the same goes for weapons on board. Most countries don't want foreign nationals on board ships in their ports with AK47s. One can't enter Canadian waters or the waters of most countries with many of types of weapons that Americans have in their closets. At any time there are over thirty thousand commercial ships at sea, including some from Iran, N.Korea, etc. Weapon smuggling would go from a problem to epidemic.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-21, 10:07 PM
BAck in the 'old days' (50s and 60s) British Merchant ships carried small arms, I know my dad was chief engineer with P&O on cargo and liners. They had a locked arms cupboard with Smith and Wesson revolvers inside.
as for 'weapons that Americans have in their closets' If you are refering to Navy ships and nuclear weapons the RN holds the same position of not denying or confirming their presence on ships. When I was in the RN we could at any time be carrying 'special weapons' in the form of Nuclear Depth Charges for the Helicopter. Only a handful of the crew would know.

Weapon smuggling is already an epidemic, I don't see how havinf weapons aboard for the crew weould impinge on it. For that matter I don't see how a ship could be stopped from arming the crew. Certainly a ship is counted as the territory of it's Flag, usualy not that of it's owning company for all kinds of tax an crewing reasons.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-21, 10:09 PM
As an addition I have a friend who was on a seismic vessel in the SOuth Atlantic, it was a US ship and several of the crew had rifles aboard that they used to take pot shots at seabirds.

Gandalf223
2009-Apr-22, 05:11 AM
How would you tell they were pirates? they don't fly a jolly roger. Most coastal fishing vessels are under 30 ft.

Irrelevant? One of the perceived reasons for the massive increase in Somali pirates is that they've overfished the sea there, to the point that the fish resource has effectively collapsed. Hence, fishing is not a viable means of making a living. Rather than starve, many Somali fishermen have turned to piracy. Thus, all Somali vessels may be assumed to be crewed by pirates.

A better solution (maybe) might be for the U.N. to agree to allow all vessels to carry arms, and for those arms to be allowed to be at the ready when in those waters. Any vessel attempting to stop and board any other ship in those waters could be assumed to be pirate by acclamation, and blown out of the water without fear of penalty.

Bringing captured pirates to the United States for trial sure isn't the answer. Given 'em captain's mast and toss 'em over the fantail.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-22, 07:32 AM
UN doesn't need to give permission for a ship to carry small arms and if anyone boards after a warning then action can be taken. A ship is taken to be the national territory of the flag country.

sarongsong
2009-Apr-22, 08:11 AM
...many Somali fishermen have turned to piracy. Thus, all Somali vessels may be assumed to be crewed by pirates...Ah, the Red Queen School of Law...there are some legitimate Somali fishermen still out there.

geonuc
2009-Apr-22, 08:57 AM
UN doesn't need to give permission for a ship to carry small arms and if anyone boards after a warning then action can be taken. A ship is taken to be the national territory of the flag country.
All true.

And I'm not sure why the NATO ships can't take action against the pirates; beyond disarming them, that is. International law, particularly the UN Law of the Sea (mentioned a couple of times earlier) certainly gives any military vessel jurisdiction over piracy, no matter their mission. There must be a reason, as the NATO foreign ministers will surely have done their homework on this point.

samkent
2009-Apr-22, 01:18 PM
The final solution maybe along the lines of gays in the military.

Don’t ask – Don’t tell

Ships will start to carry arms up to the size of AK47/M16 without public fanfare.
If a smaller vessel approaches with hostile intentions, it will be fired upon. A note will be made in the log book but no public mention of the incident.

The problem will quietly go away.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-22, 02:52 PM
Surely the best thing to do is advertise you are an armed ship.

samkent
2009-Apr-22, 07:16 PM
Merchant ships are not allowed to be armed in any way. It’s an international law.

That’s why it will be hush hush. Do what you have to but don’t talk about it.

geonuc
2009-Apr-22, 07:56 PM
Merchant ships are not allowed to be armed in any way. It’s an international law.
Are you sure about that? Aside from international law being rather liberal with respect to ship operation on the high seas, I was under the impression that the problem lies with the ports. Most nations have restrictions on armed merchant vessels entering their ports.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-22, 09:12 PM
Small arms aren' tthe same as an 'armed' merchant vessel. If it mounted fixed weapons it would be a different kettle of fish.

geonuc
2009-Apr-22, 10:00 PM
Definitely not the same, to be sure. But I still think that even carrying small arms may pose difficulties with ports and insurance companies, at least from what I've read. Otherwise, I think crews would be packing heat right now.

Gandalf223
2009-Apr-23, 12:17 AM
...there are some legitimate Somali fishermen still out there.

There won't be, not after they understand they'll be sunk if they leave port.

roller
2009-Apr-23, 12:20 AM
I think that we should just have some geneticists try and put together a Kraken.
Oh the fun we could have.

I like this idea. If you are gonna throw out crazy solutions then at least have some fun with it.

Nick Theodorakis
2009-Apr-23, 01:34 AM
There won't be, not after they understand they'll be sunk if they leave port.

That's a pretty cold solution. What if the fish some of them catch keep them from starving?

Nick

cjl
2009-Apr-23, 02:01 AM
There won't be, not after they understand they'll be sunk if they leave port.

So you're proposing making boats illegal in Somalia, punishable by death?

Elukka
2009-Apr-23, 02:41 AM
Give the crews guns and you'll have firefights between them and the pirates. Those aren't nice, and neither something the crews would necessarily want.

geonuc
2009-Apr-23, 09:06 AM
Give the crews guns and you'll have firefights between them and the pirates. Those aren't nice, and neither something the crews would necessarily want.
I think fighting off the pirates is the point.

geonuc
2009-Apr-23, 09:08 AM
There won't be, not after they understand they'll be sunk if they leave port.
Sinking any boat that leaves port would be an act of war. I understand that Somalia is essentially an ungoverned state, but I really don't think shooting up every fishing boat in the country would be condoned by the international community.

Damburger
2009-Apr-23, 09:31 AM
Isn't drooling over technologies to further brutalise developing countries too political for this board?

geonuc
2009-Apr-23, 09:35 AM
Isn't drooling over technologies to further brutalise developing countries too political for this board?
Drooling over technologies to further brutalize developing countries? Please. We're discussing piracy.

korjik
2009-Apr-23, 12:26 PM
Give the crews guns and you'll have firefights between them and the pirates. Those aren't nice, and neither something the crews would necessarily want.

Let's see: minor modifications to the boat to make it impossible to get taken hostage, or get taken hostage and hope that someone pays off the pirates.

I think I know which one I would prefer.

korjik
2009-Apr-23, 12:27 PM
Drooling over technologies to further brutalize developing countries? Please. We're discussing piracy.

Well, the kraken thing was a bit over the top. :)

geonuc
2009-Apr-23, 01:26 PM
I don't know - a kraken could be useful in this situation. I wonder if Cthulhu is available for hire?

captain swoop
2009-Apr-23, 02:31 PM
I think making a lockable superstructure and bridge to keep the pirates out long enough for intervention by a patrol boat is the way to go. Easy enough to do and less controversial than arming the crew.

geonuc
2009-Apr-23, 02:37 PM
I think making a lockable superstructure and bridge to keep the pirates out long enough for intervention by a patrol boat is the way to go. Easy enough to do and less controversial than arming the crew.
Perhaps, although what's that catch phrase about problem solving and proper application of high explosive? ;)

captain swoop
2009-Apr-23, 02:52 PM
What would they have to do to blow their way into a steel superstructure?

Nicolas
2009-Apr-23, 03:59 PM
Inhale really deeply ;)

Quite some power tools -not to mention rpg's- will allow you access into a ship's superstructure. Unless it's a windowless, heavy steel panic room maybe. But would any ship be willing to build a panic room that can't be accessed within say 2 days (it's a big big sea)?

Nick Theodorakis
2009-Apr-23, 04:07 PM
I think part of the problem has been that (perhaps until now) that the risk of paying ransom was just considered part of the cost of doing business. I read somewhere that it costs a large container ship several hundred thousand dollars to transit the Suez Canal, so by comparison the risk of paying one or two million in ransom now and then must seem like an acceptible risk. Also, consider that many of these ships are staffed by poorly paid third world workers who probably don't have especially strong ties to the carrier or the country the ship is registered from. Why should they be expected to fight it out? As an analogy, would you expect a minimum wage worker at an all night convience store to have a gun battle with a robber, or just hand over the cash in the register?


Nick

geonuc
2009-Apr-23, 04:36 PM
What would they have to do to blow their way into a steel superstructure?
Just blow the door off it's hinges.

samkent
2009-Apr-23, 04:55 PM
RPG’s take out tanks. Ships would be like butter to them.


I think making a lockable superstructure and bridge to keep the pirates out long enough for intervention by a patrol boat is the way to go.

So they steer the ship to Somali waters and wait for the crew to get hungry or run out of air. Still hijacked.

Gandalf223
2009-Apr-23, 05:09 PM
Sinking any boat that leaves port would be an act of war.

An economy based on piracy of ships plying the waters near a country, unchecked by the government of that country, amounts to that country making war on vessels in those waters. An appropriate response is called for.


I understand that Somalia is essentially an ungoverned state, but I really don't think shooting up every fishing boat in the country would be condoned by the international community.

Since the populace of Somalia lacks controls imposed by their own government (such government being essentially non-existent) it is now incumbent on the international community to place limits on Somali behavior. If the international community refuses to act, then they (the "international community") lose the right to argue the correctness of actions taken unilaterally.

The current situation (Re: piracy in the waters off Somalia) is intolerable. My solution would be an improvement over the current state of affairs. You're welcome to come up with a kinder, gentler idea, as long as it works.

Damburger
2009-Apr-23, 05:18 PM
Drooling over technologies to further brutalize developing countries? Please. We're discussing piracy.

Without context, in an environment where politics is (allegedly) forbidden?

Regardless of what they've done, you are talking about human beings here, and innovative new ways to murder them.

Whilst nobody thinks that discussing a war on somali pirates is too political, I am sure if I contrasted current outrage at Somalis taking other peoples oil by force to the lack of outrage expressed by Americans when their army did the exact same thing in 2003 I'd bring down the wrath of moderators.

When people who have no other viable source of income do it, its piracy. When people who are already billionaires do it, its peacekeeping.

geonuc
2009-Apr-23, 06:52 PM
Without context, in an environment where politics is (allegedly) forbidden?
Yes, we are discussing how to protect ships from pirates without context, because politics is forbidden.

chrissy
2009-Apr-23, 06:52 PM
Please keep this thread on topic and refrain from bringing politics into it.

geonuc
2009-Apr-23, 06:55 PM
RPG’s take out tanks. Ships would be like butter to them.

Didn't a ship recently get hit with an RPG, with little damage?

So they steer the ship to Somali waters and wait for the crew to get hungry or run out of air. Still hijacked.
Presumably, the plan would be to hole up in the hardened bridge area and also disable the engines, as was done with the Alabama Maersk. The engine room crew wouldn't rush up to the safe room, they'd just lock themselves in.

ETA: Besides, even if they managed to move the ship to Somali waters, because it's piracy, anyone with a warship in the area can go after them. The key is to keep the crew from being taken hostage long enough for friendly forces to arrive.

Damburger
2009-Apr-23, 06:58 PM
Please keep this thread on topic and refrain from bringing politics into it.

The topic of this thread is political.

Swift
2009-Apr-23, 08:43 PM
The topic of this thread is political.
The Original Post was on technology to help with the problem. It is possible to discuss such things here, or to discuss other non-political aspects of the problem. However, there are obviously political aspects of the problem too, and if people insist on discussing the political aspects, the moderators will have no choice but to close this thread.

pzkpfw
2009-Apr-23, 08:58 PM
Didn't a ship recently get hit with an RPG, with little damage?

An RPG uses a shaped charge such that when it hits armour an intense jet melts a hole through and ignites the stuff inside or burns the crew (not all that much space inside a tank). One defence against shaped charges is spaced armour, basically an outer layer makes the charge explode, but the effect is dissapated against the inner layer. (Google up a PZKPFW IVH).

So an RPG hitting a ship might well do no significant damage. e.g. It might hit in a large area where the effects are dispersed, or an area with a double-hull or with another bulkhead behind.

None of the crew would want to be nearby - but I'd think an RPG by itself isn't necesarily a weapon that makes a ship immediately "give up".

geonuc
2009-Apr-23, 09:02 PM
(Google up a PZKPFW IVH).
Say, that term looks familiar somehow. :)

captain swoop
2009-Apr-23, 09:06 PM
In the interview with the RN commander of the NATO force he claimed all he needed was between 30 and 45 minutes warning and forces would be on target either surface or helicopter. No special panic room would be needed just reinforced doors into the superstructure. I would think sufficient protection for hatches could be arranged without much trouble. An 8 clip watertight door with a couple of locking bars would be enough to stop it being 'blown off'

geonuc
2009-Apr-23, 09:10 PM
In the interview with the RN commander of the NATO force he claimed all he needed was between 30 and 45 minutes warning and forces would be on target either surface or helicopter. No special panic room would be needed just reinforced doors into the superstructure. I would think sufficient protection for hatches could be arranged without much trouble. An 8 clip watertight door with a couple of locking bars would be enough to stop it being 'blown off'
What you say makes sense, although I think the good commander is a little optimistic. It's a big area and ships often find themselves many miles from a friendly warship.

korjik
2009-Apr-23, 09:29 PM
What you say makes sense, although I think the good commander is a little optimistic. It's a big area and ships often find themselves many miles from a friendly warship.

If the ships involved were to have a good watch to make sure no possible pirate boats could get close without getting noticed, then it probably wouldnt be hard to get some proper help in time.

Then again, that would require the ship owners to pay for the extra crew and equipment for the watch, so I may be overly optimistic that it could work

geonuc
2009-Apr-24, 09:26 AM
Do the pirates attack at night? Watching for little boats at night, without night-vision equipment, might be difficult. I suppose the ships could transit with their lights off, which would make it much harder for the pirates to intercept the ship.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-24, 07:49 PM
I wouldn't want to transit a busy seaway at night with no lights. Having spent plenty of time in a warship with lots of lights in a the North Sea and English Channel I can say we had a lot of close calls even with them.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-24, 08:58 PM
An RPG uses a shaped charge such that when it hits armour an intense jet melts a hole through and ignites the stuff inside or burns the crew (not all that much space inside a tank). One defence against shaped charges is spaced armour, basically an outer layer makes the charge explode, but the effect is dissapated against the inner layer. (Google up a PZKPFW IVH).
This basically means that a safe room is an advance crew pressure cooker seen from the nasty end of an RPG.

If the ship is taken it doesn't matter where the crew are holed up.

pzkpfw
2009-Apr-24, 09:36 PM
This basically means that a safe room is an advance crew pressure cooker seen from the nasty end of an RPG.

If the ship is taken it doesn't matter where the crew are holed up.

Very true. Though I'd not want to be in a steel room when explosives are "simply" used to blow the door "off its' hinges" either.

So, I guess a "safe room" would need to be double-walled or be two-layered (room within room).

Maybe the safe room is full of gas masks, and outside the room there's a bunch a tear-gas canisters ready for remote activation?


I'm not sure what a safe room actually achieves, unless one can guarantee that ALL crew are inside, so that some measures (gas, navy SEAL raid, ...) can then be taken that target anyone outside that room.

Otherwise, it's pretty much just a brig where the crew let themselves in.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-24, 10:09 PM
There's no need for a 'safe room' We are talking about a ships superstructure, it's full of steel bulkheads, walls and decks. Lock all the doorways and hatches. All you have to do is sit tight for a short while till a Royal Navy Destroyer turns up and shoots the pirates. It's all about stopping them taking the crew hostage, they can control the decks no problem, that won't stop a chopper from shooting them up or marines from storming the ship. At most we are talking 3 or 4 pirates in their boarding party.

geonuc
2009-Apr-25, 11:17 AM
If the ship is taken it doesn't matter where the crew are holed up.
Why do you think that? Do you think the pirates can hold the ship against an assault from one of the warships?

Gandalf223
2009-Apr-25, 05:59 PM
Why do you think that? Do you think the pirates can hold the ship against an assault from one of the warships?

Once the pirates are on board, they are safe. The warships won't launch an assault against a hostage ship while the crew is (or may be) on board. That's why the pirate motherships also carry hostages while they are at sea seeking more prey.

The solution is for all peaceful ships in the area to be sufficiently well armed to repel boarders, and if necessary to prevent them from even attempting to board. Holing up in a hardened room somewhere just allows the pirates to take the ship and perhaps harden their own position in preparation to defend their ill-gotten gains.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-25, 07:44 PM
Nato forces want the crews to hold up and give them chance to get aboard and take the pirates. If the pirates only have the deck there's nothing they can do. If the crew have the superstructure they can radio information to Nato forces. I wouldn't think that many of the crew on an average merchant ship would want to get into a firefight. For one they aren't trained for it, just giving them guns wouldn't help, second, if the do fire at the pirates but they get aboard anyway then it's more likely that the pirates will shoot them. I couldn't imagine my dad wanting to start shooting at people, he was an engineer.

Just to add most ships in the area are just passing through on their way to the Gulf and Suez. you are talking about arming thousands of ships and training thousands of people to use small arms and then expect them to use them to kill people.

Nick Theodorakis
2009-Apr-25, 11:04 PM
...
The solution is for all peaceful ships in the area to be sufficiently well armed to repel boarders, and if necessary to prevent them from even attempting to board. Holing up in a hardened room somewhere just allows the pirates to take the ship and perhaps harden their own position in preparation to defend their ill-gotten gains.

I think I'll get back to my point that for most freight ships it's no more reasonable to expect a crew to fight off armed pirates than it is to expect a convenience store click to get into a firefight with an armed robber. They have neither the training to do so nor enough stake in the operation to make it worth it to them.

Nick

Gandalf223
2009-Apr-25, 11:48 PM
I think I'll get back to my point that for most freight ships it's no more reasonable to expect a crew to fight off armed pirates than it is to expect a convenience store click to get into a firefight with an armed robber. They have neither the training to do so nor enough stake in the operation to make it worth it to them.

So train them. Training the crews would be cheaper than the multimillion dollar ransoms that are being paid to the pirates. And I think you'd be surprised how great a stake the crews perceive they have, when it's their lives and freedom that are being threatened by these thugs.

Sam5
2009-Apr-26, 12:53 AM
So train them. Training the crews would be cheaper than the multimillion dollar ransoms that are being paid to the pirates. And I think you'd be surprised how great a stake the crews perceive they have, when it's their lives and freedom that are being threatened by these thugs.

I agree.

Also see this:

"China Executes 13 Pirates"
People's Daily, January 29, 2000
http://english.people.com.cn/english/200001/29/eng20000129N103.html

Ara Pacis
2009-Apr-26, 04:33 AM
I think I'll get back to my point that for most freight ships it's no more reasonable to expect a crew to fight off armed pirates than it is to expect a convenience store click to get into a firefight with an armed robber. They have neither the training to do so nor enough stake in the operation to make it worth it to them.

Nick

I disagree. Holding someone up at gunpoint and asking them to hand over whatever's in the register and some free cigarettes at which point they run away is different than being kidnapped and held for ransom. If the pirates merely boarded the ships and asked for a certain amount of "tribute" then maybe you'd have an analogy.

sarongsong
2009-Apr-26, 05:47 AM
Thoughts from the chief:
April 25, 2009
Gen. David Petraeus, chief of U.S. Central Command, said Friday..."We need the maritime shipping companies to do more than they have. We started off by saying if you would just speed up when the pirates approach, that will help; if you take evasive action, that's even better; and if you un-bolt the ladder that allows the pirates to climb onto your ship before you set sail...simple things, like concertina wire to make it harder to climb over the side, or again over a railing, but also looking at the employment of armed guards or security forces."
...there is no way a limited number of warships from the United States and other countries can protect thousands of vessels across an enormous ocean area off the coast of Somalia...
CNN (http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/04/24/petraeus.pirates/index.html?iref=hpmostpop)

geonuc
2009-Apr-26, 11:19 AM
I see in the news this morning that an Italian cruise ship's security forces exchanged gunfire with pirates, successfully preventing them from boarding.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Apr-26, 07:59 PM
Trained professionals, only there for that purpose.
Not random sailors with guns.

And why anyone would take a cruise ship there is beyond my comprehension.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-26, 10:55 PM
Because it's the approaches to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, it's also the Indian Ocean. It's a major seaway, if you don't want to go round Africa you have to go up to Suez. If your cruise includes the Red Sea and anything in the Indian Ocean you have to go there.

Nicolas
2009-Apr-28, 03:45 PM
About the structure full of steel bulkheads, steel doors etc: it's also full of windows and other ways of letting yourself in, give or take a bit of high explosives...More lock-proof places would be some rooms below deck, but then still...for example the engine room has some huge air ducts.

About fleeing from the pirates: it's not that simple. One of the techniques they use is mounting a long cable between two of their skiffs. Then they position themselves far in front of a ship. When it goes in between them, the cable will make them drift towards the ship. Most ships aren't maneuvrable enough to go around the skiffs by the time they spot them, and get caught in the cable.

About protection of the ships: their is a company/organisation that protects some ships in the region (service limited by flag country, I think). It's called something like "Atlantico", I fail to google it without knowing the exact name... They place a proper amount of heavy machine guns on your ship, add some trained people, and off you go. A disadvantage of this is that it will come to a firefight, possibly making things more dangerous. An advantage of course is that you can possibly stop the pirates from taking your ship. You won't be free of any attack, as they can't see whether you have machine guns on board before they choose to attack you.

danscope
2009-Apr-29, 02:59 AM
If you keep a good watch, and by that I should think a couple of scouts up at the BOW where they can do some good, they will see the skiffs and other
tiny little craft as such, and if they play the cable game, they are just fish in a barrel. A service 45 will do a lot of damage and it's easy to reload.
It isn't that hard to repel boarders. You have to want to and you need to tool up.
On a US Navy Submarine, we don't mess around. You would be surprised at what comes out of a submarine hatch when required. Those men will ruin your day and see to it that you swim for shore....sort of.
And if they feel like it, they can send a MK 37 torpedo towards your mother ship ....for fun and profit as well as exercise.
Trust me, there is not much the US Navy cannot do. And........
they are always watching.
Best regards,
Dan

Damburger
2009-Apr-29, 09:23 AM
That's a pretty cold solution. What if the fish some of them catch keep them from starving?

Nick

There are no fish in Somali waters. The stocks have been entirely depleted by foreign fishermen, and probably by the dumping of toxic and radioactive waste off the Somali coast by European companies.

This is why it sucks to be a Somali fisherman. Foreign opportunists destroy your source of income, and then when you join a pirate gang out of desperation a bunch of westerners on an Internet forum gleefully discuss ways to murder you, absurdly claiming that such a thing is apolitical.

Jens
2009-Apr-29, 10:08 AM
This is why it sucks to be a Somali fisherman. Foreign opportunists destroy your source of income, and then when you join a pirate gang out of desperation a bunch of westerners on an Internet forum gleefully discuss ways to murder you, absurdly claiming that such a thing is apolitical.

I agree generally with the fact that they find themselves in a difficult situation, but I doubt that Somali fishermen care very much about what is being said on BAUT or other Internet forums.

Damburger
2009-Apr-29, 12:23 PM
I agree generally with the fact that they find themselves in a difficult situation, but I doubt that Somali fishermen care very much about what is being said on BAUT or other Internet forums.

It reflects a general opinion in the west that they are subhuman parasites (and as such that discussion of technological means to kill them is somehow apolitical).

How would people here feel if I started a thread about new innovations in roadside bombs and suicide vests?

geonuc
2009-Apr-29, 12:45 PM
Discussion of how to prevent pirates from commiting piracy - a crime, in case you weren't clear on that point - is not political. Shooting pirates who are engaged in the act of piracy is not murder.

Comparing this discussion to a hypothetical discussion of innovations in suicide bombing technology is, frankly, repugnant.

Introducing, without basis, off-topic nonsense such as supposed radioactive dumping in Somali waters by European countries is not something I like to see, either.

danscope
2009-Apr-29, 03:44 PM
It reflects a general opinion in the west that they are subhuman parasites (and as such that discussion of technological means to kill them is somehow apolitical).

How would people here feel if I started a thread about new innovations in roadside bombs and suicide vests?

Hi, When you take to piracy and kidnapping and ransom and play with guns,
you have labeled your self with the flag of scum and villiany.
This is a most dangerous game and shall not profit.
Dan

EricM407
2009-Apr-29, 04:57 PM
So train them. Training the crews would be cheaper than the multimillion dollar ransoms that are being paid to the pirates.

I believe the companies paying these ransoms have run the calculations and come to a different conclusion.


And I think you'd be surprised how great a stake the crews perceive they have, when it's their lives and freedom that are being threatened by these thugs.

Actually, their lives haven't really been in much danger up to now. I think there's been one fatality in hundreds of hijackings. What's mostly been on the line is money that belongs to somebody else. If you expect the crew to put their lives on the line for that, then I think you'll have to factor large increases in pay for them into your cost calculations.

Sam5
2009-Apr-29, 06:24 PM
Actually, their lives haven't really been in much danger up to now.

"The pirates - 12 Chinese and an Indonesian - were convicted of intercepting a cargo ship in November 1998.

They are said to have boarded the Cheung Son masquerading as Chinese police before killing 23 sailors."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/622435.stm

SeanF
2009-Apr-29, 07:08 PM
Hi, When you take to piracy and kidnapping and ransom and play with guns,
you have labeled your self with the flag of scum and villiany.

Piracy, kidnapping, and ransom, I agree. Guns, not so much. :)

EricM407
2009-Apr-29, 07:15 PM
"The pirates - 12 Chinese and an Indonesian - were convicted of intercepting a cargo ship in November 1998.

They are said to have boarded the Cheung Son masquerading as Chinese police before killing 23 sailors."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/622435.stm

This was 11 years ago in a different part of the world and consisted of the theft of the ship's cargo rather than holding people for ransom. I don't think it's relevant to the current discussion, but if you arm crews and take away the easy ransom money, you can probably expect more incidents like that.

captain swoop
2009-Apr-29, 08:04 PM
Actually, their lives haven't really been in much danger up to now. I think there's been one fatality in hundreds of hijackings. What's mostly been on the line is money that belongs to somebody else. If you expect the crew to put their lives on the line for that, then I think you'll have to factor large increases in pay for them into your cost calculations.

My dad was in the Merchant for 40 years, Chief Engineer. He says he wouldn't want to have to start shooting at anyone, it's not his job.

Euniculus
2009-Apr-29, 10:29 PM
Chuck Norris

Nicolas
2009-Apr-29, 10:32 PM
Back in the days, we used to get hijacked in Nigeria on a daily basis. Literally. The routine was to go to the bridge, wait for one of them to come up, ask his demands, call your supervisor on shore, he'd come, settle things, carry on. That was quite safe and absolutely amateuristic piracy. What happens now in Somalia is professional piracy. It's still "safe" in that sense that only one group is armed and has no interest in killing the other group. That doesn't make it any less of a crime though. But the only way to really stop it, is to take away the reason for piracy. Those who still want to be a pirate after that, will have to face the consequences.

In the meantime, arming both groups is not my favourite option, and many people on board think the same. I'd prefer a convoy or private patrol ship if armed protection is to be used, rather than weapons on board of the ship itself.

Ara Pacis
2009-Apr-29, 11:25 PM
Well, the Somalis in question can always give up making a living from the sea from both fishing and piracy and make a living from something land-based, like making pottery.

sarongsong
2009-Apr-30, 01:24 AM
While they do have other resources, where have all the international governing bodies been while their coastal waters were pillaged?
Economy - overview:
Despite the lack of effective national governance, Somalia has maintained a healthy informal economy, largely based on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies, and telecommunications. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock normally accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings...
cia.gov (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/so.html#Econ)
(This page was last updated on 23 April 2009)

captain swoop
2009-Apr-30, 07:54 AM
While they do have other resources, where have all the international governing bodies been while their coastal waters were pillaged?

Please. lets not start drifting into politics again.

Nicolas
2009-Apr-30, 08:11 PM
About the structure full of steel bulkheads, steel doors etc: it's also full of windows and other ways of letting yourself in, give or take a bit of high explosives...More lock-proof places would be some rooms below deck, but then still...for example the engine room has some huge air ducts.

About fleeing from the pirates: it's not that simple. One of the techniques they use is mounting a long cable between two of their skiffs. Then they position themselves far in front of a ship. When it goes in between them, the cable will make them drift towards the ship. Most ships aren't maneuvrable enough to go around the skiffs by the time they spot them, and get caught in the cable.

About protection of the ships: their is a company/organisation that protects some ships in the region (service limited by flag country, I think). It's called something like "Atlantico", I fail to google it without knowing the exact name... They place a proper amount of heavy machine guns on your ship, add some trained people, and off you go. A disadvantage of this is that it will come to a firefight, possibly making things more dangerous. An advantage of course is that you can possibly stop the pirates from taking your ship. You won't be free of any attack, as they can't see whether you have machine guns on board before they choose to attack you.

What I was looking for was Operation Atalanta. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Atalanta

Apparently they don't only escort ships with navy vessels; they also/alternatively come on board and arm the ship itself for the crossing.

publiusr
2009-May-01, 04:52 PM
I agree generally with the fact that they find themselves in a difficult situation, but I doubt that Somali fishermen care very much about what is being said on BAUT or other Internet forums.


And if they are perfectly willing to murder hard working sailors from other countires, then maybe they don't need anything that floats. Either Somali s quit piracy, or they become land-lubbers. No, the US won't do anything so drastic--but China just might.

danscope
2009-May-01, 05:19 PM
The very reason Navies exist is to ensure the free commerce and transit of the world's oceans,seas and arms of the seas. Anyone interfering with that
enterprise provokes these forces into certain action. We expend great life and treasure to do this. That is their purpose.
Best regards,
Dan

Ara Pacis
2009-May-02, 03:32 AM
The very reason Navies exist is to ensure the free commerce and transit of the world's oceans,seas and arms of the seas. Anyone interfering with that
enterprise provokes these forces into certain action. We expend great life and treasure to do this. That is their purpose.
Best regards,
Dan

Not just, they're useful for making sure an enemy's invasion force doesn't get within wading distance of your homeland. It also is useful for making sure yours gets to their homeland. And, of course, navies also exist to prevent free commerce if it is in their interest.

geonuc
2009-May-02, 11:53 AM
Not just, they're useful for making sure an enemy's invasion force doesn't get within wading distance of your homeland. It also is useful for making sure yours gets to their homeland. And, of course, navies also exist to prevent free commerce if it is in their interest.
All true, but the primary purpose of most globally-active navies is commerce protection. The US Navy was founded just for that task.

Ara Pacis
2009-May-03, 08:55 AM
All true, but the primary purpose of most globally-active navies is commerce protection. The US Navy was founded just for that task.

So, are you making a distinction between a navy and a coast guard? How many globally-active navies are there? There can't be many.

captain swoop
2009-May-03, 10:11 AM
In the UK the RN is the 'coast guard' as it would be termed in the US, it does the fishery protection, drug interception, anti terrorist patrols around oil rigs and enforces Maritime Law.

Our 'Coast Guard' is there to observe and coordinate shipping movements and any maritime rescue. It isn't an armed service and it doesn't enforce maritime law.

geonuc
2009-May-03, 12:09 PM
So, are you making a distinction between a navy and a coast guard? How many globally-active navies are there? There can't be many.
No, I don't believe I was making that distinction. Why do you ask?

There are not that many large, global navies. But two of the largest are quite actively engaged in commerce protection activities against the pirates. I mention 'globally-active' to point out that there are a few navies whose power and reach are historically due in no small part to the commerce protection mission.

But the essential point I, and others, are making, is that the naval forces in the Somalia area are carrying out one of their primary missions.

captain swoop
2009-May-03, 12:47 PM
Up until WW2 the primary purpose of the RN was commerce protection. Britain relied on foreign trade sea routes. Even into the 60s one of the main tasks was protecxting trade routes.

Today I would say the USA, Russia, Britain and France are the 'Global' navies with China and India having a large regional presence.

HenrikOlsen
2009-May-05, 08:28 PM
And if they are perfectly willing to murder hard working sailors from other countires, then maybe they don't need anything that floats. Either Somali s quit piracy, or they become land-lubbers. No, the US won't do anything so drastic--but China just might.
The thing is, they aren't.
They're perfectly willing to threaten harm to the sailors in exchange for money, but that's not quite the same thing.

Incidentally, at least one sailor was killed by a shot from the rescue team rather than by the pirates.

That said, it's with ill-disguised glee I see that a group of pirates mistook a warship for a merchant and was stupid enough to try to hijack is:D