Reducing the Threat of Maritime Piracy via GHOST-ly Technology

Ghost & Flag

(DGIwire) – When envisioning life in the 21st century, pirates don’t usually come to mind. However, maritime piracy is still a very real threat, with potentially devastating consequences. In the North Carolina Bar Association Newsletter, attorney and maritime expert Anthony S. Ketron recently outlined the extensive reach of the phenomenon. Modern piracy, he wrote, now plagues extensive areas off the coast of Somalia, extending north into the Red Sea, along the coast of Arabia, across the Indian Ocean to the shores of western India, and south off the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania to the Seychelles and Madagascar. Piracy can be found throughout the archipelagos of Indonesia and in the Malacca Straits and South China Sea. Pirate threats also are emerging along the western coast of central Africa and the northern coast of South America.

In addition to their presence in so many oceanic waters, pirates today are heavily armed, presenting an obvious threat of bodily harm as well as property damage. As Ketron goes on to explain, the resulting economic consequences of piracy are also astronomical: ransom demands can be as high as $5 million per vessel, and shipping companies also have to spend increasingly larger amounts to make their boats more capable of defending against attacks. Supplying additional security personnel onboard vessels, providing naval security in pirate-infested areas, increasing ship speed through dangerous waters, rerouting ships around pirate areas, and paying significantly higher insurance premiums are examples of added expenses incurred, according to Ketron.

These higher costs in turn affect the cost of shipping goods, and as a result, the price of the goods themselves. Piracy threatens the lifeblood of the global economy, and therefore global security and stability, according to Andrew Shapiro, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State.

A final reality is that there are limited naval assets available to combat piracy, making the situation extremely volatile. One company committed to addressing this situation is Juliet Marine Systems, a maritime technology company based in Portsmouth, NH that is a leading developer of innovative maritime transport systems, both manned and unmanned.

The company’s lead product is a surface vessel known as GHOST. Efficiency, economy and effectiveness have been packaged into this revolutionary maritime craft. The awesome capabilities of GHOST are designed to provide a marine surface and subsurface platform to track and identify multiple targets. The vessel operates less expensively and has fewer weather restrictions than comparable craft.  Its fuel efficiency allows GHOST to travel 10,000 miles before refueling, making it a perfect solution for surveillance of problem areas.

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 our Navy and coalition ships. There is a clear and present danger of these tactics being used against the U.S. Navy throughout the world and in our home ports. We pride ourselves on creating new solutions to existing needs by integrating the latest technology into every endeavor.”

Kevin Kinsella, founding parter of Avalon Ventures and the first venture investor in Juliet Marine reflects, “The tide will be turned on high sea pirates when out of the fog a radar blind stealth Ghost bears down on them at 80 knots, bristling with precision weapons aimed at their black hearts. Probably a feeling similar to what an 18th Century merchantman felt when a pirate fast frigate, flying the Jolly Roger, appeared from the horizon, bearing down on them.”

Avalon backs novel technology platforms.