Tuesday, September 22, 2009

War On Piracy Adopts Modern Technology

“Sound Sabre” Used Against Pirate Gangs
Shipping News Feature

SOMALIA – News that the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD*) which has been aggressively marketed for the last few years, is now being used against the current wave of modern pirates.

Although primarily deemed a method of carrying the human voice, with extreme clarity, over large distances for example warning off intruders, searching gullies etc. for missing persons, this technology has always had the capability as part of an offensive weapons system.

LRAD’s have been used routinely for five years or so in areas of conflict such as Iraq by the US military and lately more local American Police forces have adopted them, presumably for crowd control. Now it seems they have been used offensively by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force during an altercation with pirates off the Somali coast.

The units produce a mind numbing 151 decibels and voice content can be clearly heard at over 500 metres, closer encounters mean the system can be used as a weapon, particularly if several units are deployed together.

It is believed that several cruise lines have already ordered the system with freight companies taking an active interest. The details make an interesting contrast with our story regarding the simpler technology of Molotov cocktails being used to deter boarders.

* LRAD is a trade mark of the American Technology Corporation