NEW YORK – (DGIwire) — Pirates of the Caribbean might be a fairy tale created in a Hollywood studio, but maritime piracy is a frightening reality and a serious and growing threat to the maritime community. Modern-day pirate attacks are steadily on the rise and not only cause economic losses, but can be deadly. In fact, the number of fatalities continues to grow as pirates gain access to increasingly sophisticated weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades.
In an online article for Security Management Magazine, Ali M. Koknar, a private security consultant in Washington, D.C., attributes this rise to the fact that the attacks are no longer carried out by small-time criminals but by sophisticated syndicates. As hijacking requires money, equipment, weapons, planning, experience and contacts with corrupt officials, and given that the loot per vessel ranges from $8 million to $200 million according to Koknar, piracy has matured into a branch of organized crime, with political or terrorist connections in some cases. Koknar concludes that piracy has a worldwide impact on economic and security factors that must be addressed in equally serious manners.
Although the geographic areas affected by piracy were once finite, the problem is no longer limited to specific regions. Koknar adds that local villagers along the coasts of Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa welcome pirate business and provide the perpetrators with food and shelter. Similarly, pirates might no longer be motivated solely by political agendas or complex plans to steal cargo from commercial ships, but have stated that tourist ships or private vessels are also not safe. Any vessel on the sea is considered a target of opportunity. Governments and ship owners are trying to combat this growing threat, but progress is slow because the issue is so complicated.
One company that has come up with a unique solution to address the problem of piracy on the seas is Juliet Marine Systems. Based in Portsmouth, NH, the maritime technology company is developing innovative solutions for naval and commercial applications. It prides itself for integrating the latest technology into every endeavor to create new solutions for existing needs.
Juliet Marine’s lead product is a surface vessel known as GHOST, which offers a broad array of applications. Efficiency, economy and effectiveness have been packaged into this revolutionary maritime craft. The vessel would be equally effective for Coast Guard rescue missions or transporting workers to and from oil platforms, while also offering broader uses in global cargo shipping, for example, to reduce fuel costs because it runs so efficiently.
Gregory E. Sancoff, Juliet Marine’s President and CEO, says, “GHOST is a combination of stealth fighter aircraft and attack helicopter technologies packaged in a marine platform. It is designed to provide a marine surface and subsurface platform for tracking and identification of multiple targets.”