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The Military Crime Technology

Robot Helicopters To Single Out Pirate Ships 123

Hugh Pickens writes "Innovation News reports that the U.S. Navy plans to upgrade its robotic Fire Scouts with electronic 'brains' that are able to automatically recognize small pirate boats spotted through 3D laser imaging by bouncing millions of laser pulses off distant objects to create a 3D 'radar' image of any boats on the high seas — a technology known as LIDAR or LADAR — so that their new software can automatically compare the 3D images to pirate boat profiles on record. Having smarter robotic helicopters could ease the workload strain for Navy sailors, who must otherwise eyeball the data coming from the new Multi-Mode Sensor Seeker (MMSS) — a sensor mix of high-definition cameras, mid-wave infrared sensors and the 3D LADAR technology. Meanwhile, the Navy has begun testing other new technologies to tackle the problem of piracy — an especially thorny issue because of Somali pirates attacking ships off the coast of East Africa. Its more forceful countermeasures include a combination of lasers and machine guns, as well as swarms of smart rockets capable of picking out their own small boat targets."
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Robot Helicopters To Single Out Pirate Ships

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  • Arrrr! (Score:5, Funny)

    by dutchwhizzman ( 817898 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @10:31AM (#39606379)
    Yer cannet detact me skull'n'bones flag!
    • Re:Arrrr! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Motard ( 1553251 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @03:17PM (#39608125)

      Couldn't we just hide GPS tracking devices in peg legs?

    • No, it's Arrrgh! and shove off!

      Fifteen men on a dead man's chest, yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!

    • Sailing (Score:4, Funny)

      by SimonInOz ( 579741 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @08:53PM (#39609827)

      As a one time ocean cruiser - in a small boat - may I just say how terrifying this sounds?
      There you are, sailing along off the coast of somewhere, minding your own business and wondering if you can stretch to one more warm beer from your fast-dwindling supplies, when a robot helicopter comes along and shoots the shit out of you.

      As if rogue waves, giant fish, waterspouts and annoying customs officials weren't enough, now we get robot helicopters?
      Come back Bender, all is forgiven. At least you could try to reason with him, um, it.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @10:38AM (#39606413) Homepage Journal

    I am the only one who thinks that sounds like a summer movie?

    • Ninjas still win.
    • Robots Vs. Pirates Vs. Aliens Vs. Ninjas Vs. Cowboys. Vs. Wizards. An epic battle coming soon to a theater near you.

      • by monktus ( 742861 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @11:44AM (#39606805)
        Pirate pours seawater over robot, alien shoots pirate with ray gun, ninja decapitates alien, cowboy shoots ninja, wizard hexes cowboy, Spock nerve pinches wizard, scissors cut paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitate lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporises rock, rock crushes scissors.
      • Not epic battle.

        Ultimate showdown.

        Of ultimate destiny.
        • In other words, we need to stop it with all this autonomous drone nonsense, and just send a clone of Fred Rogers down there?
  • This tech (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by kelemvor4 ( 1980226 )
    Soon will be applied to land pirates too. When you get up from your computer after downloading a movie, watch out for incoming automated missiles. Yesterday, they tried throwing a whole plane at some guy who downloaded a copy of Microsoft office illegally.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, Chapter 12. "They usually calls the spy-glass, by reason of a lookout they kept when they was in the anchorage" Disney has probably licensed it by now.
  • by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @11:01AM (#39606545)

    What is the use of this until a far greater problem with the Somali pirates is solved?

    Capturing them does nothing. No African nation will take them and prosecute them, so after a few weeks the navy ships are forced to simply release them, after which they go right back to pirating. Until that problem is solved, really, what is the use of better detection tools?

    • I assume action would follow detection. Profile identification is only good for initial suspicion, after that a manned patrol boat would have to be sent. Hail suspect vessel, identify, provoke into attacking and riddle full of holes as deemed necessary.
      Note that I'm not debating the morality of the issue, I'm just saying what I think is the most likely scenario. Drastic actions are easier to provoke and justify on the seas.

      • This is pretty close to what worries me, but on the opposite side. I'd worry that they rely on it too much and not flag a vessel as being a pirate (or miss it entirely) even though it is one. And then have the ships ignore it and as a result someone gets killed because whatever navy uses it, reduces the number of lookouts who would have correctly judged the situation.
        • by Thing 1 ( 178996 )
          Your comment flows neatly into your signature: early release is similar to "fire and forget", and making the better product is similar to "not killing innocents".
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      The simplest solution is to place armed naval personal on each boat travelling through those waters. Once attacked they simply return fire with the appropriate weapons in order to ensure the attacking vessel is disabled, a rescue vessel could the rendezvous with the disabled vessel to pick up survivors. The merchant vessel continues on it's way and once out of troubled water's the sailors are transferred to another vessel travelling in the opposite directions. Taking on the military personal would be stric

      • Tried and failed (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 )
        Armed merchantmen have been tried in the past. It has failed for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is that then pirates will shoot to kill the crews of any ships that pass. This is the law of unintended consequences that organisations like the NRA like to keep quiet about; if the good guys acquire guns, the bad guys simply acquire bigger guns, and become nastier.

        Exactly as with American inner cities, the problem is that crime works because the alternative is not to have an income. The pirates a

        • by ironjaw33 ( 1645357 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @12:25PM (#39606985)
          Failed? I wouldn't call this [liveleak.com] failed. Furthermore, when considering piracy, in what cases have pirates come back with bigger guns? It's not just merchant vessels hiring PMCs to ward off pirates, but navies ranging from the US to India patrol the Indian Ocean. I can't imagine pirates would have bigger guns than they would. Make the risks of kidnapping too high and piracy will decline.
          • That was a win. I still don't understand why this is not the anti-pirate method of choice. It seems that the ship'S PMC have such a big advantage before the pirates can get out of the skiff and board.
        • by Hatta ( 162192 )

          Once you have government, and law, and an economy, most people do not want to earn their living by risking being shot at.

          And yet the US military employs about 3 million soldiers.

          • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

            Once you have government, and law, and an economy, most people do not want to earn their living by risking being shot at.

            And yet the US military employs about 3 million soldiers.

            When I think of US, I don't know why, it is not the economy but the debt [msn.com] that pops into my mind. Granted, there are some signs of improvement [businessinsider.com] and, GDP percentage-wise, others are much worse.

          • by Thing 1 ( 178996 )

            And yet the US military employs about 3 million soldiers.

            Is having 1% of a country's citizens turned into soldiers routine, when compared with other successful countries throughout history?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          That does not give them the right to shoot at merchant ships. They can get bigger guns all they want, but if they get too nasty, we will put guns on our drones (no human lives on our side will be involved), and then let them loose. This move will immediately clean the "pirate" virus that is plaguing the merchant ships. We will simply start shooting them dead, and they will not even have a chance of approaching merchant ships, since they will be sniped by the drones as soon as they leave the shores.

        • by nut ( 19435 )

          The pirates are the products of a shit-hole failed State.

          Actually the pirates are the products of the destruction of the Somali fishing industry from illegal over-fishing by foreign vessels.

          Reference. [time.com]

          Reference. [wikipedia.org]

          Although I grant you that the lack of a functional government in Somalia was a contributing factor.

        • Yeah, tried and failed in Tripoli. Oh wait... nope [wikipedia.org].

          Pirate ships and crews from the North African Berber states of Algiers, Tunis, Morocco, and Tripoli (the Barbary Coast) were the scourge of the Mediterranean. Capturing merchant ships and enslaving or ransoming their crews... Barbary pirates led attacks upon American merchant shipping in an attempt to extort ransom for the lives of captured sailors, and ultimately tribute from the United States to avoid further attacks, much like their standard operating procedure with the various European states.

          tl;dr version: the good guys acquired guns, the bad guys acquired bigger guns and became nastier, the good guys sent in the marines, who had the biggest guns of all. The end.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Just to be clear, the solution I have given is neither desirable nor representative of justice, it is simply the logical easiest solution to implement. There is no shoot out the regular military crew handling the laser guided anti-tank weapon are not mercenaries they are regular military from a recognised defence force.

          When fired upon, they target the laser guided anti-tank weapon at the attacking motor launch, pretty much destroying the attacking motor launch (missing would be very rare and military per

      • If it were profitable enough to pay for the armed guard, the merchants would have hired them. Paying for the armed guards via military or police forces just transfers the cost to taxpayers.

        The pirates are *poor*, from a bankrupt country in the midst of rebellion, or their own country's military would arrest them when they docked.

        • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

          Many ships already are.

          http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5e2_1333668975 [liveleak.com]

          A lot of shipping companies are arming their ships with private security and they are killing anyone that comes at their ships.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Actually it costs almost nothing to hire a team of ex-Navy e-nothings who are trained to repel boarders (which is everyone especially anyone with a sea duty rotation)., make them do misc other work, and have them train the rest of the crew.

          I could hire an all military team of 4 guys for 180k/year assuming I pay them 35k and give them 10k worth of benefits, a free stateroom (they'd even be happy 2 to a room), and was hiring US sailors. I could have these guys train the rest of my crew and even assign them o

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The navies are already out in these places doing their jobs, the navies provide the equivalent to all emergency services out on the ocean, no matter what country you're from if you get seriously injured or have some sort of emergency nearby navy ships from any country will come to your assistance, treat you well and figure out how to get you to a hospital. They do this in addition to their diplomatic, interdiction, warfighting, and intelligence gathering functions.

          If you have a merchant vessel you

      • Armed merchant men at sea were once known as privateer's who then in turn became even stronger pirates.

        Also it isn't having armed men abroad that is the problem but going into port later. Most countries consider a man with a gun on a boat to be a hostile navy.(See the USS Cole for how much damage a small boat with intent to kill can do to a larger one).

        • My history is shaky on this, but I very much doubt your assertion that armed merchantmen were known as privateers who later became stronger pirates; actually, I know it's bull, because all merchant vessels at the time were armed, and privateers' vessels were dedicated to their task; they also happened to consist largely of former pirates made legitimate by grant of letters of course or letters of marque and reprisal, although some distinguished those granted these letters from privateers... it gets technica
        • by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @03:34PM (#39608213) Journal

          Bullshit. From Wikipedia, and it is a good definition: A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. These are people authorized during wartime by a government. Some may have become pirates later, but often were just considered pirates by those on the opposing side in the war.

          In fact some privateers are considered some of the greatest heroes in history. For example, Sir Francis Drake who repelled the Spanish Armada during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I was a privateer (but considered by the Spanish to be a pirate).

          Armed merchantmen were also known as the Merchant Marine (or Merchant Navy) [wikipedia.org] during World War II. They were one of the most important reasons that the Allies won the war, and they were on the front line for the entirety of the Battle of the Atlantic [wikipedia.org], the longest single campaign of the war. No matter what equipment we, the Allies had, no matter how many men or how great our generals, none would have made it to the fight without the Merchant Marine. Not only were they essential, they were true heroes. Until antisubmarine technology and tactics came up to speed, many were at the mercilessness of the German U-boat wolf packs that killed many of the seamen. And if they were not armed, many more would have perished and we would have lost the war before it began since neither Britain nor Russia would have been able to get enough food or military equipment and ammunition to hold off the Axis forces. And none of these men became pirates after. And as I see it, since they were private merchant vessels authorized by governments to be armed and attack enemy ships, they were technically speaking, privateers.

          The way I see it, all shipping in areas where pirates are known to operate should be expected to carry armed guards and weapons. Why the hell should we be expected to spend money... let me rephrase that... why the hell should we be expected to waste money on trials and food and jail space for these thieves and murderers is beyond me. I think all the politically correct governments should get their heads out of their asses (including mine: Canada). If they see a pirate, blow him out of the water. Then let the survivors drown. Soon enough these thieving fucks will stop. It's not like they have the kind of resources to be able to take on anything of any size anyway. Nor will they be able to. They don't have the resources, so we won't see them attacking with Harpoon missiles or Excocets, or heaven forbid P-700, P-800, or Brahmas either. If that extremely unlikely day ever comes, they won't be attacking from small boats either.

          • I actually have a copy of the WW2 book "Britain's Glorious Navy", edited by Sir Reginald Bacon and passed on to me by my father, who was given it during his training. It is pretty authoritative and it makes it clear that you are wrong. They were not authorised to attack enemy ships, nor were they equipped to do so. They were armed purely for defence against submarines and aircraft. Furthermore, armed merchant ships were directly managed by the Government. They were in no sense at all "privateers". The ship
            • First, after the bullshit British historians claimed about Canadians in Hong Kong I suspect anything British historians say about WWII, and especially if they put "glorious" in the title. British historians have as distorted a perception and self importance about these events that I think many were cast out of the same mould as that pinnacle of self importance, Montgomery. So now based on one probably flawed historical book that gives you the impression that the merchant marine were a purely British institu
        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          You are not arming the merchant vessel of the merchantmen, specifically sailors from a recognised military force are boarding those vessel's and simply returning fire, once fired upon. Those sailors do not reach port upon those vessel's they are picked up by naval vessels, either transferred by small boat or helicopter along with their equipment.

          The principle is, you can spread people a lot further than military vessels and the pirates generally pretend to be fishermen when military vessel or helicopters

    • by guises ( 2423402 )
      That what the missiles are for, no trial required. Seriously, "just kill them all" is not a valid route to take for a police action.
      • That what the missiles are for, no trial required. Seriously, "just kill them all" is not a valid route to take for a police action.

        Works for dark-skinned people half-way around the world.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @11:51AM (#39606841)

      What is the use of this until a far greater problem with the Somali pirates is solved?

      Capturing them does nothing. No African nation will take them and prosecute them, so after a few weeks the navy ships are forced to simply release them, after which they go right back to pirating.

      You're right. We need to go back to the classic way of dealing with them. Capture them, convene Captain's Mast, try them, then execute them.

      Seriously though, they engage in piracy because the risk is greatly outweighed by the reward. The Somali government cannot do anything, as they can barely keep control of Mogadishu. The shipping/insurance companies? It's easier for them to just pay the couple hundred thousand dollar ransom. The only way to stop piracy is to make the risk no longer worth the reward. This can be done in 2 ways, by raising the risk significantly, or reducing the reward(in a relative sense, ie make fishing/farming/whatever more profitable). And right now, the political/economic situation in Somalia makes the first way much more feasible than the second way.

      • Best response to the "unintended consequences" deflection or diversion crying "guns no good, scary me, ahhh!!!" Would mod up if I had points given that people also divert with "but piracy's the symptom, not the problem!", such simple "logic" not understanding that sometimes treating symptoms is the only option that can be realized. Mod up, mod up.
      • "You're right. We need to go back to the classic way of dealing with them. Capture them, convene Captain's Mast, try them, then execute them. "

        Capture isn't a deterrent. If means are used which lawfully destroy their vessels which kill them on the spot, that precludes useless trials.

        The Obama/Panetta method used to plink enemy troops such as Al-Awlaki is an efficient and economic way to interdict hostile operatives.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )
      Good plan. Please implement it post haste.
    • that would be problem number 1.

      of course tackling that would mean going after the Saudis, Emiratis (including Dubai), Pakistanis and others who finance al-Shabaab. and god knows there are probably some 'red blooded americans' in there too making money off the drug deals or whatever.

    • "What is the use of this until a far greater problem with the Somali pirates is solved?"

      Great practice for engaging small boat flotillas, which are as old as naval history and can be quite dangerous.

  • by skyshiro ( 2578935 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @11:06AM (#39606571)
    http://www.as.northropgrumman.com/products/fire-x/assets/Fire-X_Brochure.pdf [northropgrumman.com] Cool stuff, all of this was done in less than a year according to Northrop.
  • by paj1234 ( 234750 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @11:08AM (#39606591)

    ...readily alter one's piratey-boat profile.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...readily alter one's piratey-boat profile.

      Drone operator: "Sir, we have a target!"

      CO: "What it is it?"

      "Well, sir it looks like a big floating ..."

      Lifeguard boss on resort beach: "Johnson! What are YOU looking at?!"

      Lifeguard: "I don't know sir. But it sure and hell looks like a big ...

      "Weiner! Get your wieners!"

      And it goes on ....

    • ...readily alter one's piratey-boat profile.

      Aside from the cheap and low-to-no-tech countermeasures you propose, this system seems pretty much doomed to be a 'small boat detector' rather than a 'pirate detector', given the difficulty of determining intent before they get within sight of some target vessel.

      Now, if you adopt the de-facto policy of "yeah, we are just going to hunt any small boats that don't look innocent enough to us, who exactly is going to object and why do we care?", then the difference is immaterial; but if there are legal or PR

      • You go pretty far in your conclusions for knowing so few of the tactical realities.

        The pirates use small boats launched from "mother ships." If you can track small vessels, then if they attack somebody you can check the sensor logs and find the mother ship. Then you can shut down an operational unit completely.

  • It's the logical thing to do when the pirates are moving their servers into the sky [slashdot.org]
  • Ever since Somalia piracy began to rise I've been thinking this could be an opportunity for India to break out and become a great power. They've been making such strides in so many areas, but in geopolitical terms are still defined by their regional spats with Pakistan and China. Directing their navy (yes, it's still small) to take down the Somalian pirates would be a way for them to change that perception. It was, after all, a similar move by the United States to take down the Barbary pirates that debut

    • They might be rather more sensible to stay away for as long as somebody else is willing to take the bait instead(though they do currently have a small force with CTF-151, as does Pakistan).

      Nobody really wants to touch the 'go after the pirates directly' problem because that would mean voluntarily wading into the mire of another pest-riddled franchise of Ethniclashistan and pursuing an open-ended peacekeeping of attrition against a dynamic grab-bag of unsavory groups that can't quite decide if they hate y
      • It does not make sense to play whack-a-mole with pirate vessels on the high seas. It does make sense to conduct operations against their bases on land. In fact, that's precisely what the US did in the First Barbary War [wikipedia.org]. If India were to do likewise, it would herald a new geopolitical era for that country.

        At any rate, I'd rather it were India, as a democracy, than China. I'm sure Indians would rather it were them instead of China, too.

    • Why would a nation in such a bad economic position (i.e. population total vs. productive population, defense capabilities in view, etc.) wish to present itself as a power of any kind? That would be silly, and make its neighbors nervous. Better to keep the hush on even if it were far more capable.
  • Dual purposes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Shoten ( 260439 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @11:29AM (#39606715)

    The technologies being developed by the Navy also have another use: the current battle plan for the Iranian Navy, should they decide to harass shipping traffic (again) or try to close the Strait of Hormuz would be to use lots of small boats, much as the pirates do. But unlike the pirates, they would tend to be more destructive instead of trying to board the ships. Being able to detect those boats from afar, recognize them as a threat and then destroy/deter them from a standoff distance is the key to maintaining open traffic there, and incredibly difficult to do.

    • The technologies being developed by the Navy also have another use [..]

      Very interesting- because the numbers do not add up: as far as I know, piracy in the region has been occuring for several years now, and policing the area is simply more expensive than paying ransom. It is not clear to me what has the motivation been (besides money) to "clear the waters". And when I say "clear to me" I mean from an economic planning point of view, because I am pretty sure that this is an issue that always comes up in meeting rooms. Police the waters, okay, but how much does it cost? The obv

  • by thinker ( 7404 ) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @11:31AM (#39606727)

    Piracy arose as a response by local fishermen from littoral towns such as Eyl, Kismayo and Harardhere to illegal fishing by foreign trawlers.[97][98][99] An upsurge in piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean has also been attributed to the effects of the December 26, 2004 tsunami that devastated local fishing fleets and washed ashore containers filled with toxic waste that had been dumped by European fishing vessels.[99][100]--Somalia [wikipedia.org]

    "What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor."--You are being lied to about pirates [independent.co.uk]

    • I am curious. How many fishing boats have been hijacked. Oh, yeah. None.
      • by tftp ( 111690 )

        I am curious. How many fishing boats have been hijacked. Oh, yeah. None.

        You mean pirates honestly bought each and every boat that they are using?

        • Stealing and murdering the crew is different then hijacking. 2 very different goals. The problem is that you do not hear about the former.
          • by tftp ( 111690 )

            The dictionary says that

            Noun 1. hijacking - robbery of a traveller or vehicle in transit or seizing control of a vehicle by the use of force

            Looks like piracy, stealing and murdering. The free dictionary is defining piracy [thefreedictionary.com] as hijacking.

            The difference in goals is only in the item being stolen. It could be goods (or their delivery and safety, in case of extortion) or the ship itself (in case of pirates needing another work boat.) In either case, if you see pirates approaching your ship then do something,

  • by colinrichardday ( 768814 ) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Saturday April 07, 2012 @11:35AM (#39606749)

    Adaptive Aerial Antipirate Robotically Generated Holography!

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

    Give all the ships the right to simply start shooting at any boat that approaches them. It's time to stop screwing around out there.

    Give ships guns turrets, and when the idiots in the other boat get within 100 yards, turn everyone on board into red goo and sink the vessel.

    every container ship or shipping vessel if it has a small team of 8 highly trained security and heavily armed cal easily repel these samali idiot pirates by firing on them to kill them all when they are within 100 yards or if it looks lik

    • There are legal issues. For one, a lot of countries have a strange aversion to letting armed ships dock at their ports. You've also got to consider escalation: If you give your men guns, the pirates are going to reply with rocket launchers and build-it-yourself torpedoes. If South American drugrunners can build their own submarines, how hard can it be for a somali pirate to assemble a speedboat with a half-inch of steel plate over the occupents? It could certainly be entertaining for us to read about the ar
      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        I guarantee the samalis dont have many working rocket launchers. Rockets for the popular russian, RPG-7 is not a rocket launcher but a rocket propelled grenade and have a shorter range than an AR15 with a 20" barrel and a scope. Plus those RPG rounds are expensive compared to the nearly free AK47 rounds. Plus samali's are not expert sharp shooters, so their chances of hitting anything is random at best. I guarantee they dont practice.

        Also the pirates want the ship so they will not be using RPG-29's that w

        • by tftp ( 111690 )

          Mercenaries on board can afford a gyrostabilized platform for a sniper with a .50 rifle. Incoming pirates would have no chance.

      • Uhh, the pirates wouldn't retaliate with torpedoes and rocket launchers. They want the ships INTACT, so as to get paid back for their release/ransom. A scuttled ship and dead crew bring no ransom.
  • It's just rocks and sand.. Piracy is probably the only viable enterprise going there. It's more of an impromptu tax really and these robot counter-measures just unethical tax evasion. Pirate ships may also serve as fishing boats and refugee transport..

  • Robotic Helecoptors with frikin' lasers? Sounds a tad familiar [wikipedia.org].
  • We can add loads of other pix: Chinese nuclear attack subs; Chinese nuclear boomer subs; Chinese destroyers; Chinese Aircraft Carriers; Chinese missiles; Chinese Aircraft; Chinese killer sats. Oh yeah, add some missiles from Iran and North Korea.
  • What could possibly go wrong here? ...
  • When Hitler declared war on the US in 1941 (dumb move on his part), the US started sending unescorted merchantmen to ship supplies across the Atlantic to the European theatre. At first, the US wouldn't listen to the experienced British navy... "Convoys? We don't need no steenkin convoys". The US lost a lot of merchant ships to U-boats in the first few months.

    They finally wised up, and started grouping ships in convoys, and sending destroyers to escort them. Throw in CAP (Combat Air Patrols) from Newfoundlan

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Good idea about the convoys. If the shippers will buy into it.

      A small motorboat leaves a mother ship and gets anywhere near a convoy, the UAVs can destroy it, and go after the mother ship as well.

      The mother ships are probably the key here. They represent a much larger investment on the pirate's part. The robo helicopters can be deployed to follow the attacking boats back to mother ships. Report their position and UAVs or conventional forces can take them out.

      You'd probably need some sort of protocol for dealing with mother ships. The decision to attack/not attack a larger vessel being approached by a gunboat would need some careful human

  • From the halls of Montezuma
        to the shores of Tripoli
    to Somalia.

  • The next step for our overworked Navy sailors.... Connecting the lasers with an automatic missile firing system. No sooner spotted and then destroyed! WHOOPS.... sorry about that luxury private cruise ship -) Seems the good old US navy is a far cry from when I was a blue water sailor!

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"