Print 23 comment(s) - last by HrilL.. on Oct 28 at 2:46 AM

MQ-9 Reaper  (Source: U.S. military)
The U.S. military is using its UAVs to help try and reduce the number of pirate attacks

United States military unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drones normally used for missile attacks or reconnaissance are now protecting the Somali coast from a recent increase of piracy.

The military now has its MQ-9 Reaper UAV patrolling in the Indian Ocean, marking the first time UAVs have been used for safety patrols.

Specifically, the MQ-9 Reaper, a 36-foot long craft that can fly up to 16 hours, has been used for coordinated strikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.  The UAVs utilize laser, radar and infrared, and have the ability to carry up to 12 guided missiles and munitions.

The drones patrolling Somalia aren't equipped with weaponry as of yet, but depending on the number of hijackings, it's a future possibility, military officials told the Associated Press.

“What we hope will happen is that they will get much earlier warning of suspicious vessels or suspected [pirate] mother ships that can then be targeted by the naval vessels. Or alerts and broadcasts can be sent out indicating the positions of these ships [and] indicating they should keep as clear a distance as possible," said London International Maritime Bureau, Cyrus Mody.

The U.S. military has used 3-foot-long drones in Somalia before, but this is a significant step forward to try and stifle dangerous pirate attacks.  An international group of warships from the United States, Japan, China, South Korea and other nations are patrolling near Somalia, but the pirate attacks are still occur.

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By Amiga500 on 10/26/2009 9:20:28 AM , Rating: 2
I would have thought the Navy would just place a few 688s at frequently used ports... They could then ID the pirate boats as they sortie. They would have a much better persistence than a UAV.

The vis id info could then be passed on to the surface action groups further out in the wider ocean.

RE: Hmm...
By DEVGRU on 10/26/2009 10:41:43 AM , Rating: 1
The only thing Somalia is worth is a bright flash and a few grams of tritium-enriched plutonium.

RE: Hmm...
By Moohbear on 10/26/2009 1:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
Always rushing to the extremes...

I mean, do you have any idea of how much a nuclear missile costs? I don't think there's enough money in Somalia to cover for it /jk

RE: Hmm...
By Amiga500 on 10/26/2009 6:21:25 PM , Rating: 2
This post having a postive rating is a sad reflection of (at least some of) the readers of this site...

If you seriously think nuking an entire country is the solution to the actions of a mere handful (relatively), then I think the human race would be better off without you.


RE: Hmm...
By Pryde on 10/26/2009 11:53:15 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe its because not everyone is as serious as you. I read it and while I disagreed with the statement that little bit of creative writing is what makes this a great site to read.

RE: Hmm...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/27/2009 7:21:10 AM , Rating: 2
No, he/she qualified the statement.
If you seriously think...
No need to read further.

RE: Hmm...
By deltadeltadelta on 10/27/2009 11:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
I believe that was meant as satirical writing. Easy does it...

RE: Hmm...
By mindless1 on 10/27/2009 10:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
I do not directly blame the whole country for the actions of the few, but tell us this:

Does the country not know it is happening? Do they do anything to try to stop it? Do not claim they are poor, they could seize pirate boats and guns, they have idle manpower.

It would cost us all less to buy them a few boats and guns than to continue babysitting their citizens but they choose not only not to be a friendly neighbor, but do so because they feel it is an advantage to them for the rest to suffer loss.

Nuke them? No. Totally shut them off from all outside resources. Let them have the lives of primitive people if that's the kind of conduct they tolerate. Their boats, their fuel won't last forever, if no new boats are built all we have to do is blow the ones they have out of the water... nukes not required.

RE: Hmm...
By Sazar on 10/26/2009 1:49:23 PM , Rating: 3
I would have preferred us to use sharks with friggin lasers attached to their foreheads. A well trained shark thusly equipped would be quite a terror.

By jvillaro on 10/26/2009 9:38:38 AM , Rating: 1
Could the US military lend me one of these so I can get rid of a pirate here in Venezuela?

RE: Please
By rudy on 10/26/2009 9:43:15 AM , Rating: 2
They might if you give an oil rig or 2 back.

RE: Please
By HrilL on 10/26/2009 11:45:20 AM , Rating: 2
You must be speaking of Hugo Chavez, the pirate that runs your country.

RE: Please
By chick0n on 10/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Please
By DougF on 10/27/2009 9:23:04 AM , Rating: 1
Because "the others" talk shit about the West?

RE: Please
By HrilL on 10/28/2009 2:46:12 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe because he stole companies and assets from private owners? That would make you a pirate.

By xenos123 on 10/26/2009 11:54:14 AM , Rating: 2
but the pirate attacks are still occur.

RE: lol
By inperfectdarkness on 10/26/2009 1:58:53 PM , Rating: 2
then we don't need UAV/UAS's. we need flying ninjas.

ninjas > pirates.

RE: lol
By mindless1 on 10/27/2009 10:57:05 PM , Rating: 2
ha ha ha. No. Ninjas rely on stealth, there is no stealth on the open sea once you are within rifle range.

Patrol vs Protect
By DougF on 10/26/2009 9:21:09 AM , Rating: 2
The UAVs aren't protecting Somali interests or their coastline, they are patroling to protect international shipping from Somali pirates.

RE: Patrol vs Protect
By OrSin on 10/26/2009 10:41:12 AM , Rating: 2
If you are going to nit pick get it right. He never said protect Somali interest. And yes protecting their coastline from pirate is exactly what they are doing.

RE: Patrol vs Protect
By Murloc on 10/26/09, Rating: 0
Conjuntions with infinitives?
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/27/2009 7:23:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote: help try and reduce ...
try TO reduce

quote: try and stifle...
TO stifle

Ay carumba!

RE: Conjuntions with infinitives?
By mindless1 on 10/27/2009 10:59:50 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize the comments section is supposed to be about the topic of the article?

If you feel the need to address only one person's use of grammar, use a private messaging system because otherwise interrupting the topic with grammar nazi comments is more disruptive than the original (supposed) grammar mistakes commented on.

Supposed good intentions have to be weighed against the real outcome.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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