Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Somali Pirates: The Defense Strikes Back

FGS Koln
Numerous reports of naval vessels and air units from several different navies taking action against Somali pirates.

First, a German frigate and a French aircraft hit them off Tanzania FGS KOELN disrupts and sinks Pirate Action Group:
On 4 November 2011, following a coordinated search and detection by a French Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft, the German warship FGS KOELN, operating as part of the EU NAVFOR, disrupted a pirate action group comprising a whaler and skiff, 50 nautical miles off the coast of Tanzania.
Pirates toss RPG over the side (EU NAVFOR photo)

On detection, the suspect pirates jettisoned their pirate equipment overboard and were stopped. They have been transferred onboard FGS KOELN and the two pirate boats sunk, preventing their use against merchant shipping in the area.
Second, a Singapore Navy ship and its helicopter play "Whack-a-Pirate:"
Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) warship RSS Endeavour of the Republic of Singapore, assigned to the mission-based counter-piracy Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, disrupted two separate attacks by suspected pirates on merchant vessels transiting the Arabian Sea south of Oman, Nov.1.

Suspect "Mother Dhow" with skiff (Singapore Navy photo)
RSS Endeavour was conducting counter-piracy operations east of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden. The Merchant Shipping Industry Best Management Practices (BMP) encourages merchant vessels to register with the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organisation (UKMTO) whilst in the high risk area for piracy. The MV BW BROKER contacted UKMTO at approximately 8:00am and stated they were being chased by a suspicious skiff with seven people on board. A ladder, which is a tool used by pirates to board vessels, was visible in the skiff and this indicated to the crew that it may be pirates. (CTF) 151 Commander, Rear Admiral Kaleem Shaukat, Pakistan Navy, authorized RSS Endeavour to take appropriate steps to respond. RSS Endeavour altered course to intercept the MV BW BROKER and established direct communication with the merchant vessel. RSS Endeavour also launched one of its embarked helicopters to rapidly provide direct support to the merchant vessel.

Buoyant with confidence due to RSS Endeavour’s helicopter support, MV BW BROKER used speed , evasive manoeuvring and other BMP measures to prevent the suspected pirates from boarding and they broke off their attack.

Less than two hours later, at approximately 10:00am, CTF 151 received another report from a merchant vessel under attack from suspected pirates. MV ELKA ATHINA, in close proximity to the MV BW BROKER, contacted RSS Endeavour via bridge-to-bridge radio and reported that their ship was being approached at high speed by another skiff. The skiff had five persons on board carrying weapons. Once again, a helicopter from RSS Endeavour was tasked to investigate and again the suspected pirates were deterred from boarding the merchant vessel. RSS Endeavour’s helicopter then located the suspected pirate skiff and followed it to its mothership.

Singapore Navy Helicopter Sinks Pirate Skiff (RSN photo)
When the suspected pirate skiff and helicopter both reached the vicinity of the suspected pirate dhow, communication was established between the helicopter and the suspected pirates. The dhow was identified as a known pirate mothership that has previously been responsible for acts of attempted piracy. RSS Endeavour’s efforts resulted in the suspected pirates abandoning their attack skiff and retreating to their mothership. RSS Endeavour’s helicopter destroyed the attack skiff and all associated pirate equipment.
Now, the Iranian press makes some claims (and spouts propaganda) on behalf of the Iranian Navy:
Iranian Navy Frigate Jamaran
Iran's naval forces on board the domestically-built Jamaran destroyer have foiled a pirate attack on an Iranian oil tanker in Hanish Al Kubra Island, Southern Red Sea, a Navy commander says.

Jamaran destroyer, on its first international mission, rescued the Iranian oil tanker from pirates Tuesday morning during its second anti-piracy operation, Iranian Navy Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Seyyed Mahmoud Mousavi said.

He added that the tanker was attacked by two pirate speedboats in the Red Sea but brave Iran's naval forces managed to save it following a serious clash with pirates, IRIB reported.

The tanker safely crossed the danger zone and was escorted by naval forces to a secure place, the commander noted.

Mousavi stated that Jamaran destroyer is the symbol of Iran's marine might and is ready to carry out important missions.

On October 22, Jamaran destroyer saved an Iranian oil tanker attacked by 15 pirate speedboats near the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.

Iran's 16th fleet of warships, which include the Jamaran destroyer and the Bandar Abbas frigate, embarked on its first mission in international waters on October 9 as part of the efforts to provide security for Iranian trade vessels in piracy-infested areas.

Iranian naval forces are conducting active patrols in international waters, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea region and Indian Ocean.

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