More than half of all piracy and armed robbery attacks at sea succeed because of human failure in lookout and threat response. Simon Williams reports on Possum, a new technology which moves the lookout task from the difficult environment of the ship to a controlled environment on land.
Iran’s purchase of the British made world-record setting Bladerunner speedboat stirred up increased chatter on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy’s (IRGCN) development of a new fast attack craft (FAC) fleet. Simon O. Williams looks beyond the hyperbole to examine FACs in the context of wider developments in Iran’s naval arsenal.
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has unveiled its vision for a DARPA-sponsored programme to develop an unmanned vessel for long-duration tracking of even the quietest enemy submarines. Berenice Baker looks into the company’s autonomous trimaran design, which can find and follow a target for up to 90 days, continuously relaying information to an anti-submarine warfare fleet commander.
Armed unmanned surface vessels lag far behind their aerial equivalents in terms of technical capability and deployment, but that may be set to change with a new US Navy programme to develop ocean-going drones into mobile missile launchers. Berenice Baker reviews recent international interest in weaponising naval drones and examines how they could be used.
Despite high-tech naval vessels and countermeasures, piracy is on the increase and spreading its area of influence. Berenice Baker talks to Glen Forbes, a former Royal Navy officer and co-founder of OCEANUSLive, a service that enables maritime vessels to share information about piracy threats in real time, about how the pirate menace is changing and what international navies are doing to combat it.
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