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Maritime Manual :10 Anti-Piracy Weapons Deployed In Ships To Fight Pirates

Piracy and pirates plague the seas and threaten global trade and commerce. Cargo ships are particularly vulnerable to pirates as they are slow, travel in remote parts of the oceans, and are not armed adequately most of the time. Somalian pirates are particularly infamous for being brutal and aggressive towards the crew. Thus, in order to keep the cargo, ship, and crew safe, various anti-piracy measures are taken along with hiring maritime security agencies. Many ships also use anti-piracy weapons to deter and defend against pirates

List of Anti-Piracy Weapons In Ships

1) Anti-Piracy Laser Device

Anti-Pirate Laser

Here is the list of the most high-tech anti-piracy weapons deployed in ships to fight pirates.

Anti-Piracy Laser Device is a device developed by a British firm called BAE systems. It is a laser that can be used during commercial shipping against piracy.
It is effective at a distance of about 1.5 km. it is used to distract the pirates in order to make them incapable of aiming properly without permanently damaging their eyes. It can be called a warning device. Normal sunglasses cannot filter out this light and hence they will not help in avoiding it.

2) Water Cannon

Water Cannon
A water cannon is an anti-piracy device (non-lethal) normally used on merchant ships. This device can shoot a high-velocity stream of water which is impenetrable. it is so strong that it can blow away the pirates which are trying to come on board the ship.
It can also fill up the enemy ship with water to decrease their speed and disturb their maneuverability. This is a very powerful system but still non-lethal. The device usually consists of a powerful water cannon placed strategically all around the ship.
They draw the seawater and can be easily controlled from the bridge. This weapon is also highly effective in controlling fires and contributing to the overall safety of the vessel.

3) Electric Secure Fence

Electric Secure Fence

An Electric Secure Fence system is a system that consists of an electrical fence surrounding the shape and hence preventing pirates from coming on board.
The system also helps in detecting a boarding attempt by warning the crew and can also scare away the trespassers by starting a very loud siren and floodlights. It is however non-lethal.

The system of fencing is collapsible and can be removed when not in use. It needs to partly do so when it is entering a harbor all when another board needs to come alongside.

4) Nets or Boat Traps

A boat trap is a kind of system which is used to stop pirates and their boats when they come closer to a merchant’s vessel. It is a ballistic net. It is a good system that can help in the defense of a vessel while avoiding the need to use guns or other such lethal weapons and posing threat to the crew or other people if it is near a harbor.

Destructive and extensively tested in the Caribbean and US waters. Most of the time, they are used to entrap smaller boats that may be operated by terrorists, pirates, or smugglers. It is an efficient system to be used in crowded areas such as the Gulf of Aden.

5) Slippery Foam or Mobile Denial System

Mobile Dual System or a Mobility Denial System is a non-lethal strategy used to slow down the movement of trespassers rather than avoid them from climbing the decks of a ship. Slippery foam or substance is used to make the deck of a ship slippery and therefore how to walk or stand on. This substance has a high viscosity. The substances are also normally non-lethal. this method is being highly used by military and security forces.

6) Long Range Acoustic Device

Long Range Acoustic Device - LARD
Abbreviated as LRAD, a Long Range Acoustic Device is a device that is capable of emitting a 151 dB sound. It can do so within 30 degrees of wherever the device is pointing. It is used to drive away pirates.
It was developed by an American technology corporation. It can produce a high-pitched sound that is painful to human ears. In fact, it can cause permanent ear damage. It was about 210 kilograms and has a range of about 300 to 500 meters.
It is mainly used by the military but has also been used on some cargo and cruise ships. The sound wave can be canceled with the help of normal earplugs and hence minimize its effect. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of the device

7) Foul Smelling Liquid or Liquid Deterrent System

The system comes from the International Maritime Security Network of the United States. In the system, the approaching pirates are showered with a foul-smelling liquid. This liquid is capable of stinking and burning.
It causes such a burning sensation and emits such a foul smell that the pirates feel the need to jump into the water and hence it prevents a pirate attack. The substances are usually shot towards the target with the help of a stun gun.
It is similar to a taser gun except that the use of liquid streams. This is a non-lethal system normally used in the areas in and around the Gulf of Aden.

8) Razor Wire Canister or Anti-boarding Device

Anti-boarding Device
Anti-boarding Device Anti-boarding Device:  Razor wire canister or an antibonding device is another anti-piracy system. It prevents pirates from boarding the vessel with the help of canisters with sharp razor wires. This is currently the most commonly used anti-piracy deterrent.
Razor wire is installed around the perimeter of a ship. This wire acts as a wall or a barrier between the ship and those wanting to trespass. This restricts the movement of pirates onto the ship considerably.
However, this method is somewhat disadvantageous as there is always a fear of a crew member getting injured or infected by handling the razor wires

9) Compressed Air – Ship Borne Shore Launcher

Compressed Air Gun
Compressed Air Gun Compressed Air Gun A product of a UK-based company, a Ship Borne Shore Launcher is an anti-piracy system consisting of a cannon-shaped device. This device uses compressed air in order to fire a variety of projectiles.
It is generally a non-lethal system. However, it can be very powerful or even lethal depending upon the distance in which it is operating. It normally has a range of more than 400 m.
This system is accepted as an important safety and survival system. Much like any other anti-piracy system this system is also used extensively in and around the Gulf of Aden.

10) P-Trap Anti-Piracy System

P-Trap Anti-Piracy System
P-Trap Anti-Piracy System P-Trap Anti-Piracy System P-Trap Anti-Piracy System is a simple yet effective measure against piracy. It is non-lethal. It consists of floating lines creating a safety zone around the vessel.
This floating line can trap the propellers of pirate vessels. These lines are so small that are almost invisible and are thrown directly under the surface of the ocean. Once installed this system can be used without monitoring at any time of the day.
This is considered one of the best anti-piracy systems as it provides additional security to the crew members, can be used in all kinds of weather conditions, and is very simple to install and apply in vessels without the involvement of the crew.
Source: Maritime Manual 

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