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Author Topic: About time... Well done, RN!  (Read 6532 times)
Rattler
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« on: 13 November 2008, 01:19:14 »
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(Dont know whether this fits here, MODs feel free to move the thread)

I really never understood how the Intl Community could allow this to go on so long, hundreds of good sailors dead and 10´s of vessels attacked *every day* (total, not only Somalia: Malaysian Strait is another, hotter, point, incident relation 80%MS, 20% SM).

I also never have been able to grab the reason for merchant marine not being allowed to carry weapons to defend themselves by intl maritime law. This is not a war? Good thing is that NATO finally (after 25 yrs of just passively complaining/standing by) now have taken action (overview: http://www.mg.co.za/article/2008-10-23-nato-flotilla-set-for-somalia-antipiracy-operations NOTE: They forgot to mention the two Spanish Frigates and the Spanish Orion doing the Air Reccon since 3 month), first results:

http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/11/royal-navy-kill.html

Sorry for the dead, they were probablby not aware of the wind-o-change and the new times and crisis and simply in the wrong place doing their job at the wrong time, but from what I have been able to capture, the same ppl work at night as pirates and during day time as police officers chasing them (supposedly).

Just to give you an idea of the magnitude of the prob (not talking private ppl killed like the famous Peter Blake 2001 - http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/12-7-2001-8514.asp- or this poor guy: http://www.independent.ie/national-news/mexican-police-suspect-pirates-in-death-of-irish-sailor-1318915.html ), some recent articles just from (in mayority) one blog:

    * Inside Pirate Central:  http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/10/inside-pirate-c.html
    * Somali Pirates Hit Another Seven Ships:  http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/10/somali-pirates.html
    * Russia to U.S.: Let's Team up, to Fight Pirates:  http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/10/russia-to-us-le.html
    * Could Mercenaries Return as Pirate Foes?:  http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/10/mercenaries-vs.html
    * Pirates to NYT: "We Just Want the Money":  http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/09/pirates-to-nyt.html
    * Somali Pirate Vessels vs. Navy Tech: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/4285201.html?page=1
    * Somali Pirates Seize Ship-Load of Tanks: http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/09/somalia-was-alr.html
    * French Troops Snatch Pirate Hostages; http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/09/httpwwwworldpol.html#previouspost
    * Pirate Attacks Up 75%; Nearly One Raid Per Day: http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/06/worldwide-pirac.html#previouspost
    * Somali Pirate Map Found!: http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/04/somali-pirate-m.html#previouspost
    * Somalia Kidnapping Economy Booming: http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/09/somalia-kidnapp.html#previouspost
    * France Raids Pirates!: http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/04/france-raids-pi.html#previouspost
    * Arrrr! Warships vs. Somali Pirates: http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/03/argh-pirates-in.html#previouspost

Well Done Indeed!

Rattler
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« Reply #1 on: 20 November 2008, 11:13:35 »
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yesterday the Indian Navy attacked some of these guys and sunk a boat Smiley
The pirates area menace to the Somalian population as well cause food prices rose with 250%.

However if the governments involved wants to do something against this menace, than they should use better surveillance like sattellites to track down shipping.
I also think that shipping should be done on convoys.
Besides that, a lot of navies have about nothing to do so a few more ships into the area cant hurt.
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« Reply #2 on: 21 November 2008, 09:25:18 »
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27820573

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=493e6038-46c5-4abd-ab9c-12143d5e1b70
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« Reply #3 on: 21 November 2008, 20:36:43 »
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With some (mil, Spanish) friends discussed this ystrdy.

The opinions where divided on only one line: The *How".

The "If/Whether" aspect we all had clear up to bet on it: This case is not going to end in a ransom of this amount paid, intl. cartels will find another way to solve it (either officially or inofficially, diplomatically, by force or in a combination of both).

Your first link sems to hint to one of the possible solutions that would come to mind, dont be surprised to hear that Al Quaeda gives back the ship to the Muslim country in question soon (or something along those lines, maybe the SAS/Deltas is faster?): This is a PR issue by now, and who scores first and succesfully will score big time in intl media perception and public opinion.

Rattler
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« Reply #4 on: 21 November 2008, 20:49:02 »
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A simple tactical solution can be found in placing a helo gunship(like a supercobra) on board  one or two ships Smiley
Just have it fly sorties and destroy every armed man they see.
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« Reply #5 on: 27 November 2008, 13:20:44 »
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http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/11/25/thai.trawler.india.navy/index.html
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« Reply #6 on: 19 April 2009, 08:30:45 »
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Details of the rescue of the American Hostage have seeped:

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2009/04/14/seal-sniper-details-trickle-in/

Interesting read,

Rattler
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« Reply #7 on: 19 April 2009, 10:19:34 »
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The old world war 2 style convoying maybe?

Wait for other shiops and than sail under armed control through Aden gulf.
It might cost some money to wait but being hijacked cost a lot more.

Another thing is the law...the pirates captured yesterday by the Dutch marines had to be freed.
I think its a good solution to shoot every armed pirate you encounter on the water.

Now they live above the law but are protected by that same laws.
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« Reply #8 on: 19 April 2009, 13:48:59 »
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Belgian ship hi-jacked.... reddevil
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« Reply #9 on: 19 April 2009, 15:42:43 »
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And with a Dutch captain  Brede lach
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« Reply #10 on: 19 April 2009, 17:19:16 »
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I thought piracy was against international law.
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« Reply #11 on: 19 April 2009, 20:05:00 »
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And with a Dutch captain  Brede lach


delete the  Brede lach ....nothing to cheer about...whatever nationality they have...

ofcourse the anti-piracy measures taken are NOT the solution...the problem are not the pirates but the reason WHY they do it...
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« Reply #12 on: 19 April 2009, 22:49:50 »
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First off, I do not think we should have this discussion in the "Terrorism & CounterTerrorism" section, the reason I posted it there for starters was that I did not know where else to put it.

But, we tend to overuse the "terrorist" word, those are criminals, the difference being that it is strictly done for profit (and not for Al Quaeda Profits, this money goes to the financial paradises...).

May I suggest that the Mods move this thread to a better suited place?

Now, to the arguments at hand:

I am having a very heated discussion at another forum atm about these issues, I will re-post a summary of my takes here because its lots of stuff by now and I am too lazy to rephrase, basically I am calling for analysis instead of just some quick shots on how to deal with the problem, there are a lot of angles to be considered:

Lets start with the tactical options to deal with pirates:

- Send in the Navies! Problem: They are already there but do not work together: Ships from twenty countries are in the region to deter pirates. But they are not coordinating. IMHO, for starters coordination between the 20 nations should be the goal: A global piraycy fighting agency. Even with better cooperation, though, they won't be able to cover all of 1.1 million square miles of ocean that form todays pirates paradise.

- Kill them. ATM everybody is tying to capture them. This does not really make an impression, it seems. Problem: You cannot simply kill anyone on a boat out there until he acts. As Wired´s Danger Room has it:

Quote
So why can't the Navy terminate the pirates, when they're found? Well, floating around in a skiff, carrying an AK, is no crime. Nor is it an act of war. But an armed takeover of a vessel definitely is a criminal deed. Which means the pirates can get whacked, right? In fact, the international law is surprisingly murky here

.
- Allow arms on merchant vessels. Problem: Could armed but -relatively- untrained crews get rid of the pirates attacking their ship, especially if those attack from various directions and concerted?

- Mercenaries: Many have got the training, hire them. Problem: They are not wanted for other reasons, again Wireds Danger Room:

Quote
But so far, they haven't been very effective in stopping pirate attacks. Besides, few, if any, commercial shipping companies seem interested in having guns-for-hire aboard -- or sailing alongside. "At the moment, tanker vessels absolutely will not carry armed escorts on board; they will not carry any firearms; they don't like armed sailors
This policy might change if pirate attacks start costing lives (as announced by them today) and grow in numbers.


- Sink the mother ships: Intelligence should have enough ideas where they are, and they belong to the clan chiefs. Take them out, the area to cover for the navies will shrink drastically.

- Form convoys. Worked in earlier times, might do it again. But, it seems that in todays deliver-on-demand times shippers do not have the time to clog up.

- Do never pay ransom: Again, the relevant article at Danger Room:

Quote
Many insurance companies and shipping contractors have decided that it's easier to pay off the occasional hijacker than to wind up with blood on their hands. So there's a "symbiosis between private insurance and privateering," Would merchants agree to that? Might cost some lives initially.


- Pounce the sources, aka attack Somalia. Today, all clan chiefs have announced their relocation to other places in fear of a US aerial attack, not sure whether that works...

- build a government in Somalia: This is WildWest in the sense that for decades no formal government exists, Intl. Community could go there and form one?

Another method to ponder would be to stop or slow the skiffs to give the target time to escape.

This would address many of the problems seen with other measures, as it would not have the risk of friendly fire, the cost of tens of thousands for mercs or the millions to employ Non Lethal stuff like The Active Denial system (its three millions would be as high a cost as the potential ransom).

Two methods come to mind:

- 1. The snare gun used to defend vs terrorists on the Thames, dubbed the James Bond gun, that fires entagling lines into the propellers:

Quote
...Royal Navy and scientists from the Home Office have been testing and refining the "running gear entanglement system" in trials on the Solent.

It consists of a metal hook which is fired from a special gun, by compressed air propulsion, across the path of a fast-moving boat. As the hook flies through the air, it trails behind it a line of high-tensile rope with loops hanging from it. The rope snags on the boat's propeller, stalling the engine and bringing the vessel to a halt.

-snip-

The blueprint for the entanglement system came from the United States Coastguard, which claims the device has the potential to be "highly effective against small, high-speed vessels".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1539466/James-Bond-harpoon-to-stop-terrorist-attack-from-the-Thames.html


- 2. Entangling nets as the one produced by Moscow Mills - dubbed "The Boat Trap" - that could be dropped off helos in the way of the skiffs or shot off the target ships, simple, effective and rather cheap compared to the ransom:

Quote
-snip - ...The Boat Trap uses a non-lethal ballistic net deployed from a helicopter into the path of a threatening boat. The net-based system ensnares the propellers of a target speedboat, sending an unambiguous and early threat warning and disabling the craft, preventing forward progress. The nets, which are opened by weights propelled from central charge blocks, foul the propellers, rudders and steering gear of boats, stopping them at a safe distance from potential targets.

By using the Boat Trap, defense and law-enforcement personnel will have another option that can help avoid the need to use guns or other lethal weapons in crowded harbors where stray bullets pose a threat to bystanders and non-combatants. In areas such as the Gulf of Aden where it is easy to mistake pirates for innocent fishermen or merchant traffic, the Boat Trap provides another option for securing ships.

The Boat Trap was developed in response to the attack on the USS Cole, in Yemen and is applicable anywhere small craft pose a threat or need to be stopped for interdiction purposes such as drug smuggling, piracy or human trafficking.

The current version is designed for deployment from helicopters, but new versions are in development that can be launched directly from ships or from harbor installations. The boat trap uses proprietary ballistic net technology developed by QinetiQ's Foster Miller unit in Waltham, Ma.

http://sev.prnewswire.com/homeland-security/20090415/NEW00215042009-1.html

Then there is the idea of emplying Q-Ships again, this time - hopefully with better results - versus the priates. Setting such a trap w/o telling and have a great protion of the guys just disappear w/o explanations might work for some time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q-ship

Last, the idea of calling Exclusion Zones and enforce them seems to have some spirit at first glance, has merit in general, but there are also some associated problems to solve first, at least from my POV:

The obvious questions:

- Which legal body is going to define the EZ and mandate validation and enforcement?
- As I assume this would probably have to be UNSC, is it feasible this wont be vetoed?
- Can communication of - once established and validation/enforcement legally mandated - the new setup to the non pirate traffic like e.g. the simple fishermen (still the majority if I understand things right) be guaranteed?
- How would the legitimate vessel owners be compensated (and by whom) for losing their income?

The not so obvious but also important questions:

- Would an EZ set a precedent that would be binding under intl law and allow other nations to ask/mandate the same under similar pretexts - even if those were hard to prove? (especially if an EZ would have been set up without UN mandate)

- What would such an EZ mean for the - legally binding right - of free transit and sea travel that especially the US have always made thier top priority? What consequenced would this legally have for e.g. sea mining consortiums like the Indian, Chinese or US ones? To see what I am talking about, check http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=young_kim

Quote
The controversy on the legal regime of transit passage through straits used for international navigation seems to have been worn out. Without any due scrutiny, this transit passage regime seems to have been passed as having created some new rights of free passage, including submerged passage, through, over and under the territorial sea of the state bordering the straits.

The argument that, except for Part XI of the deep-sea mining provisions, the Convention codifies customary law or reflects existing international practice, was asserted by some members of U.S. delegation right after the adoption of the Convention. They even affirmed that those important navigation and over-flight rights of transit passage through straits were universally recognized under customary international law and the U.S. is entitled to such rights no matter whether the U.S. is opposing the whole Convention and is not a party to it. Such pick-and-choose attitude of the U.S. has been bitterly criticized by most nations.


It will take time to implement, and those questions at least will have to be summarily addressed before chosing this COA.

In total, the simple solutions do not always seem to hit it on the spot straightforwardly, I have been going through a lot of material lately and it gets more complicated all the time, and I held this up to the (majority apparently fairly young guys over there and very gung-ho):

Quote
Really, get your data right before voicing an opinion, if you do not base it on data, your just wildly guessing around and clotting the serious part of the discussion.

Whatever endeavour you might think up, the basics is always to define the mission (Think of this as an ops with an OPORD and adress all the points as a mental priority: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operations_order#Format).

What is the mission over there? Guarantee free sea travel? Save the insurances money? Show force? Dry out a potentional money making machine for future or current terrorists? Etc. *First* answer this question.

Next step is to project a strat, *both* for entry and exit, define the entry and exit rules and conditions.

Project the reactions of your "enemy" to your actions, and then decide where you want to end up, when you are going to act, when not, and at what scale you want to get out, and how (Iraq lessons by now should have been learned, IMHO), what is the desired end result versus cost, necessary effort, logistics, etc. I have not read any true analysis of those factors and points in any of the pirate threads here yet, but I think that is just what we need.

Serious analysts are addressing the theme from various angles, and it seems the simple solutions wont work.

For starters, here is the law:

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982
Overview and full text: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/convention_overview_convention.htm (I know it is some stuff to digest, but how can you expect to be taken serious and find serious solutions if you haven´t got your bases covered?)...

You might want to read what BStephens has to say on it http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122757123487054681.html:

Quote
- Article 110 of the U.N.'s Law of the Sea Convention -- ratified by most nations, but not by the U.S. -- enjoins naval ships from simply firing on suspected pirates. Instead, they are required first to send over a boarding party to inquire of the pirates whether they are, in fact, pirates.

- A recent U.N. Security Council resolution allows foreign navies to pursue pirates into Somali waters -- provided Somalia's tottering government agrees -- but the resolution expires next week.

- As for the idea of laying waste, Stephen Decatur-like, to the pirate's prospering capital port city of Eyl, this too would require U.N. authorization. Yesterday, a shippers' organization asked NATO to blockade the Somali coast. NATO promptly declined.

Then, check out why there is a serious discussion ongoing on arming crews:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/world/13shipping.html?_r=1&ref=africa

Excerpt:

Quote
But many ship owners, including those with vessels that regularly ply the waters off East Africa, remain deeply reluctant to allow any weapons on their ships, said Matthew Flynn, a shipping consultant in Hong Kong who works closely with ship owners in Asia and East Africa.

“I’m not sure people are convinced at all it’s going to make ships or crews safer,” he said.

Arthur Bowring, the managing director of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, said that if ships carried weapons, they might draw attacks around the world from people seeking to steal the weapons.

Ship owners also do not want crews to be armed because few merchant sailors have combat training and because pirates with deep pockets from ransom payments will always be able to buy larger weapons than ship owners in any maritime arms race, said Mr. Bowring, who is also the chairman of the labor affairs committee of the International Shipping Federation, a trade group representing employers.

“If we arm our crews with light machine guns, they can probably buy heavy machine guns,” Mr. Bowring said. “And if we buy light rocket launchers, they can buy heavy ones.” The answer to piracy, he said, was better law enforcement ashore.

Most ports severely restrict vessels from having weapons on board, and changing those regulations in each country would be difficult, Mr. Flynn said. The United States Coast Guard has been especially wary, fearing that the weapons could be used for terrorist attacks.

Because a commercial vessel might stop in a dozen countries during a voyage, it would be hard for it to carry weapons if any port along the route forbade that, Mr. Flynn said.

As I said, the simple things are not always simple, and they wont just work because you (we) re-iterate them as proposals...

Mercenaries? Check out this in depth background discussion on the option:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/4285201.html?page=4

Then, there are many quallified discussions on the various aspects (from threat definition/perception over strategical issues to options) out there:

- http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=5621

A blog roundup for those really wanting to build an educated opinion, here: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=7073

A good book on the issue: The Outlaw Sea: A World of Freedom, Chaos, and Crime by William Langewiesche.

In the end, maybe non-lethal is the way to go? : http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090413/pl_afp/somaliapiracyshippinguspoliticscongress_20090413202950



Just thinking, some stuff is re-iterated (as this is a summary of what I wrote over there), any more ideas?

Rattler

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« Reply #13 on: 20 April 2009, 04:23:48 »
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And with a Dutch captain  Brede lach


delete the  Brede lach ....nothing to cheer about...whatever nationality they have...

ofcourse the anti-piracy measures taken are NOT the solution...the problem are not the pirates but the reason WHY they do it...


They do it for the same reason burglers rob your house.  They see it as an easy way to make a lot of profit.
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« Reply #14 on: 30 March 2010, 20:28:37 »
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Spanish Trawlers go with the times:

After the in every respect dreadful hijacking of the "Alacrana" that was a nightmare for the crew, ridiculed Spain and our government (when they could not decide the age of the captured two pirates, one of them, "Willy", even ended up demanding State for mishandling when his advocate changed strategy and claimed he only was 16 when he heard forensics could not make up their mind about his age, which he himself had given as 18 earlier) and got only solved by giving back the captured priates to Somalia and pay a high ransom (even the navy failed in the end, when they tried to have a sniper taking out the engine of the skiff with the 5 Million Euros, and that for a ship that did not even fly the Spanish flag: In defiance to international sea law the Tuna Trawler flew the Basque flag, and his 8 Basque sailors refused to board a Spanish plane that should bring them back after their rescue and refused to speak Spanish with the Navy that guarded them, they wanted a "Basque" plane...), they got all equipped with armed Security Teams (main weapons include cal .50 and H+K), they already repelled some attacks.

Some machine translated pages on the polemical event, as I could not find anything apart from three-liners in English, seems it only was major news here...:

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=es&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diariodenavarra.es%2F20091121%2Fnacional%2Fnos-golpeaban-llegamos-temer-lo-peor-confiesa-patron-alakrana.html%3Fnot%3D2009112101295984%26dia%3D20091121%26seccion%3Dnacional%26seccion2%3DVACIA&sl=es&tl=en

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=es&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdondeoigafuego.blogspot.com%2F2009%2F11%2Fla-astracanada-de-la-alacrana.html&sl=es&tl=en

Something on the background of the Somalian pirate situation, the guy claims we are seeing a new colonialism, and from what we heard after the end of "Alakrana"´s adventure he might have something: The 8 Galician and the 8 Basque crew (patron and officers) earned between 4.000 and 6.000 Euros each per month, the whole of the other 20 fishermen from Ghana, Senegal and Kenia 4.000, *all together*!! Of cause there was big surprise here, that some of the sailors of those nations, who were completely ignored by the Spanish Navy and the media, decided to leave with the pirates (there were at times up to 200 on board) when they ran with the 5 Million ransom...:

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=es&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.somosiglesiaandalucia.net%2Fspip%2Fspip.php%3Farticle1256&sl=es&tl=en

Today it was announced that very soon all Spanish Tuna Trawlers will be equipped with their own UAVs which serve two purposes: For one they will do aerial supervision in a 50km radius for banks of Tuna, and during the night, and equipped with IR cameras, will be opconned to the onboard Security Teams and spot for pirate skiffs, following the theory that evasion is better than confrontation.

The UAV in question- going by the name of "FULMAR" - is produced in Spain, but has made a solid impact in the South Asian market since Malaysia bought a few for border control a year ago and now is considered the #1 UAV for civil use down there. Velocity between 60-150 kmh and an endurance of over 8 hours at a weight of 20kg make it the ideal tool for aid to the traditional lookout. It god wide publical acceptance when it was the only tool Civil Protection had to search for trapped firemen in a 2009 wood fire (for a comms failure 12 were killed, but thanks to the UAV one could be saved, the video refers to that use, as since then it has become standard for the wild fire brigades):

The Fulmar system in operation


The company and the details and specs (machine translated page): http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=es&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gara.net%2Fpaperezkoa%2F20100110%2F176253%2Fes%2FLa-empresa-guipuzcoana-Aerovision-centra-su-actividad-aviones-sin-piloto-tecnologia-avanzada&sl=es&tl=en

Why has nobody in this thread ever thought of that? Just curious, as in hindsight it seems a valuable asset to avoid getting hijacked, and at a reasonable cost. Okay, the catapult takes some room that not every small boat has, but the recon, recon, recon effect sounds extremely helpful out there.

Rattler
« Last Edit: 30 March 2010, 21:01:16 by Rattler » Logged

"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
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