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I just found an interesting post on slashdot. Apparently, a company has developed an air cannon that fires wire/netting from a ship in order to deter pirate vessels. The netting spreads across the water where it can entangle in the propellers of pirate boats thus allowing the vessel under attack to escape while the pirates are busy untangling the net from their propellers. Even better, device can also fire golfballs. So I guess if the netting fails to stop the pirates, the golfballs will .
Here's a link to the post:
And the YouTube:
Just 5 shots from a 4500 psi scuba tank? Sounds horrible inefficient to me. Ah well, it seems spudguns have finally gone full circle, what with the naval Holman Projector being the first recorded pneumatic device used to fire potatoes in simulated battle between bored sailors.
As to this device, golf balls are well and good but if I'm being faced with a boatload of Somali pirates armed to the teeth with AKs and RPGs, I wouldn't want anything less than a 50 calibre machineguns. Or at least, if golf balls are my only legal option, have a dedicated golf ball barrel that (with those pressures and a fast enough valve) would launch the things at near supersonic speeds aimed with an optical sight. Even better would be a magazine and detent mechanism so I could fire them off on full auto ARRRRR!!!
I would NOT feel half way safe with that thing defending the ship. Those golf balls are totally useless and the net thing is highly questionable. Pirates carry AK's. Who's going to be the guy to go reload the friggin air cannon after missing?
I'll say, it's a technique used by these overgrown sets of female genitalia with little success.
so what would be a good anti pirate system that isn't actually an explosive or lethal weapon? uhm maybe a barbed electric fence around the ship?
That, and LRAD
Face it, if they've got AK's and grenade launchers, you can advertise the golf ball launcher as non lethal and make a few points with the politically correct crowd. But, you can still launch a golf ball or possibly something else that will penetrate the flimsy cabin superstructure of most small vessels that the pirates use. It may not be lethal, still, but even with AK's, you're going to want to duck a lot when you discover golf balls penetrating your cabin.
If pirates use Aks, why should people be forced to resort to ineffective means to defend themselves? I say arm yourself with scoped AR-15s and leave the golf balls at home.
What a wobbly recoil stand.
I think it would benefit from a (way) longer barrel.
Wouldn't the propeller simply cut the wires?
With a set of earplugs and a few bullets I guess the pirate can easily win the battle versus an LRAD.
The only way to win a battle against some weapon, is to have a better weapon.
+1 to what Moonbogg said.
Outdo them in raw firepower (.50 machinegun) or in range (any well-made sniper rifle)
Don't forget the target boat is much larger and way more stable. You can shoot way more accurate from that then from the tiny boat the pirates drive.
Till the day I'm dieing, I'll keep them spuddies flying, 'cause I can!
Spudfiles steam group, join!
You already have your range with a .50 cal. AND, it can pretty much cut a boat in half if you fire enough rounds.
How many rounda you think?
Given typical African "aiming" techniques, I think you can outdo them in accurate range with a bow and arrow
As fire teams start to fire & manoeuvre, suppressive fire will be provided by a support section, often form the prone position - too bad that the mag spring has blown out of the bottom of this beautifully blue-duct-taped God of War magazine rig.
The problem as kenbo pointed out is the political correctness surrounding the issue. In the good old days, piracy was eradicated by full scale attacks on pirate bases with little care for the perceived "human rights" of these criminals. A single mid sized naval vessel could accoplish this easily, for the cost of less than one typical ransom, if only there was the political will to do so.
Sadly, as I frequently rant, the Western world is suffering from increasing pussification. Hey, at least the Swiss still have some cojones.
Some time ago I received a pm via youtube concerning my piston valve videos. This is the actual message, in which he explains why they are interested in pneumatic cannons....
I work for a company that specializes in providing on board security against piracy to vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden. http://www.issg-seamarshals.com
We are already using air cannons of the sprinkler valve design. I am not that happy with the performance and think they could be considerably improved with a piston valve design. Would it be possible to build a piston valve model using uPVC with a 2 inch barrel? In your opinion what do you think would be the best way to go about building such a model?
The reason we are using air cannons are for the following reasons.
1. On LNG tankers and oil carriers it is totally impossible to use firearms because of the safety risks so alternatives have to be looked at.
2. Our security teams generally embark/disembark in Egypt, UAE, and other middle east destinations. It is impossible to bring firearms into these ports. This makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to transport weapons to and from the vessels even if you have certification for the weapons.
Weapons are used by our security teams as a very last resort. Our main objective is to create a defensive posture on any vessel that we protect that will discourage pirates from attacking. We do this by encircling the vessel with razor wire, create highly visable defensive postures, and harden the superstructure of the vessel to make it impossible for any pirates to gain access. Also with the use of fire hoses and maneuvering the vessel we make it extremely difficult for pirates to gain access to the vessl. Our security teams are made up of highly trained naval commando's with years of experience. The last thing we want to do is to encourage the pirates to open fire on the vessel with AK47's and RPG's. Shooting at them encourages them to do just that. We do not show our air cannons until the pirates are right next to the vessel and we are in actual danger of being boarded.
Our main reason for using air cannons is to use them as a device to disable their out board motors or to sink their wooden boats. The range of use is generally only up to a maximum of 50m. Only if the pirates actually manage to climb up the side of the ship do we use air cannons against them as a last resort.
Your advice and expertise would be greatly appreciated in helping us develop a more effective anti piracy device that can be put to good use. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org If you are a skype user you can add me to your skype. My user name is jkiwi55.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Heaven knows how much the oil companies are paying for this level of research and development
The reasons for using air cannons are all valid, but frankly on the face of it the design looks like it can be significantly improved.
If the operating range is a mere 50 metres, I'm sure that a well made high pressure golf ball cannon would be more than adequate for such a role, provided that the operator has the benefit of a shield that can stop multiple 7.62mm AP impacts.
Personally I would be a bit hesitant to share my knowledge with someone who will likely profit considerably from my advice.
well I'd try to get some credit at least but don't ignore this chance.
about accuracy, note that the pirates are on fast tiny vesesls the are bobbling around in the ocean they can't take many very accurate shots, the giant cargo ship is a much more stable shooting platform
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