Giving the U.S. Navy More Than a GHOST of a Chance to Stamp Out Piracy

The Fleet Week New York 2008

(DGIwire) – It’s clear that the lethal and costly reality of maritime piracy must be addressed. A report by Intercargo, an industry group representing global owners of dry cargo vessels, calculates that since 2008, gangs of Somali pirates on the eastern coast of Africa have carried out more than 800 attacks on ships, from private yachts to oil supertankers. Pirates hijacked more than 170 of those vessels, taking hostage some 3,400 seafarers and killing 25 of them.

A Bloomberg article on an exchange of gunfire aboard the commercial vessel Avocet, which carries cargoes of minerals and grains, clearly illustrates the lawlessness and chaos currently surrounding the challenges, specifically what kind of responses are appropriate and what amount of lethal force is acceptable. Spotting a gun on an approaching boat doesn’t guarantee that those aboard are pirates, said John Boreman, marine director for the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners.

Fear of pirate attacks is understandably creating more violent and chaotic seas, but reckless gun use at sea could put the whole industry at risk of reputational damage, says Stephen Askins, a partner at London-based law firm Ince & Co., which has negotiated with Somali pirates for the release of hostages.

One business committed to addressing piracy and offering a safe and consistent solution is Juliet Marine Systems, Inc., a maritime technology company based in Portsmouth, NH. Juliet Marine is developing innovative solutions for naval and commercial applications.

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Juliet Marine’s lead product is a surface vessel known as GHOST, which offers a broad array of applications. The awesome capabilities of GHOST are designed to provide a marine surface and subsurface platform for the tracking and identification of multiple targets. Efficiency, economy and effectiveness have been packaged into this revolutionary maritime craft. The vessel operates less expensively and has fewer weather restrictions than current solutions. Its fuel efficiency allows GHOST to travel 1,000 miles before refueling; this makes the vessel a perfect solution for surveillance of problem areas, with the added capability of intercepting traffickers in the water.

Gregory E. Sancoff, President and CEO of Juliet Marine, says, “We seek to assure fleet force protection in response to small vessel terrorist attacks against U.S. ships. There is a clear and present danger of these tactics being used against us in our home ports and throughout the world.”

It’s high time for the GHOST to appear: “If out of the fog a radar blind stealth GHOST bears down at 80 knots, bristling with precision weapons aimed at them, the tide will turn for these pirates,” says Kevin Kinsella, founding partner of Avalon Ventures, which backs novel technology platforms and the first venture investor in Juliet Marine.