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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Somali Pirates: A Techno Fix?

DefenceWeb suggestions for modern ways of fighting Somali pirates in "Technology there to find, fix, finish pirates":
Finding pirates before they can launch attacks requires a fully integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance cycle: Intelligence to build an initial picture of the situation; surveillance to develop and update that picture; and focused reconnaissance to add detail and follow up leads to further refine that picture.
The key elements required to perform this function will include shore-based radars, maritime surveillance and patrol aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAVS); patrol vessels of several types, with embarked helicopters or UAVS; shore-based fixed and mobile sensors, including radar and optronic sensors, and electronic intelligence gathering systems to monitor radar emissions and communications signals.
Fast Manned Patrol Boats
Fast Unmanned Boats
Money to fund this work is, of course, the drawback. The rest of it is essentially correct. As has been discussed here before, the key is to, one way or the other, blockade the pirate operating areas. See, Somali Pirates: U.S. Senator Proposes Legislation for Counter Piracy, Somali Pirates: Hmmm . . . is a pirate port blockade coming? and the links therein. In the latter post, by the way, I touched on the use of UAVs, USVs and more to help in the blockade:
Manned Patrol Aircraft
Anti-Pirate "Mothership"
Containment involves limiting the damage that can be caused by pirates. This can be carried out by naval patrols, convoys, establishing safe routes and blockades of pirate ports, the very sort of activity we now see by naval units in the area.

Drones, patrol aircraft and lots of small fast boats to run down anything that leaves known pirate hangouts.

It could work.

1 comment:

  1. Eagle while the RPVs as I prefer to call them both aircraft and vessels, have some advantages as in endurance and sensor range, they ALL require a proper "mothership", tender or homebase.

    Since the later seems to be out of the question(~) in Somali, there have been many who point to (old) amphibs as a solution. I see the amphibs which MIGHT be available as a mothership to have several significant disadvantages. They are costly to operate and M&R, they typically have larger crews than needed, and they present large targets for more well armed pirates (we know the later are stupid enought to shoot at warships).

    The advantages are C4SI sensor and spaces, plenty of logistic capacity and accomodations.

    Converting or even continuing old amphibs is a real problem given navy budget issues.