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Science & Technology

Laser cannons to fight off pirates

By T.K. Randall
January 10, 2011 · Comment icon 46 comments



Image Credit: CC 2.0 Amy Keus
British engineers are developing laser cannons to defend against pirates trying to board ships.
A new type of defense weapon is currently being developed by British engineers in the hopes of fighting off pirates trying to board ships. The non-lethal laser cannons would effectively hide ships by emitting a bright green glare that would temporarily blind approaching pirates. The cannon, developed by defense company BAE Systems, is effective for a distance of up to a mile away and will prevent attackers from aiming their weapons successfully.
British engineers are developing a new type of defence system that uses lasers to incapacitate pirates by dazzling them as they approach a ship. The non-lethal weapon, which has been developed by defence company BAE Systems, is effective against moving targets more than a mile away


Source: Telegraph | Comments (46)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #37 Posted by Psukhe 12 years ago
In a relatively calm see, you have a better chance, but it is still a long shot. There is simply very, very little to shoot at, and a missile is not a precision target instrument. Of course, there is also the fact that pirates are not very likely to attack you in relatively calm seas. It is too easy to be spotted. Depends on the line. The majority of them don't actually hire security contractors. They hire negotiators who's job is to procure safe passage through the harbor (basically, pay off the pirates before they attack). In the event of an attack, they negotiate the ransom. The ones that h... [More]
Comment icon #38 Posted by aquatus1 12 years ago
Not as much as one might think. I got to see Navy SEALs playing on their ribs and they were hitting 30 foot waves head on and riding up vertical. I was convinced that they were going to come right back down and keep going down. But, they knew what they were doing, and they were able to navigate to the carrier with no problem. But as for pirates, Heavy seas would be a problem for them too, mostly because they might get lost. Ideally, you want 5-10 foot swells. It is easily navigable, and it allows you to peek without being in full view the entire time.
Comment icon #39 Posted by aquatus1 12 years ago
Welp, just goes to show ya... South Korea decided to play Rambo, boarded a ship taken over by pirates, and killed five of them. Now they have to watch their backs because the other pirates are planning revenge. South Korea Hostage Rescue
Comment icon #40 Posted by Psukhe 12 years ago
Welp, just goes to show ya... South Korea decided to play Rambo, boarded a ship taken over by pirates, and killed five of them. Now they have to watch their backs because the other pirates are planning revenge. South Korea Hostage Rescue Who ya calling a whelp? I agree that there is a chance that this might escalate; however in everything I've read the pirates really have limited access to $$$ and weaponry. I am still of the opinion that due to these factors the pirates have limited capacity -- even if they wanted a "blood feud" they won't have the numbers or the tools to do it with. Also from... [More]
Comment icon #41 Posted by aquatus1 12 years ago
I agree that there is a chance that this might escalate; however in everything I've read the pirates really have limited access to $ and weaponry. I am still of the opinion that due to these factors the pirates have limited capacity -- even if they wanted a "blood feud" they won't have the numbers or the tools to do it with. Well, two points: first, limited resources never stopped guerrila warfare. It just made it more creative. But I would not consider that to be the biggest danger. The biggest danger to me would be that now that the pirates know the South Korean army will kill them if it get... [More]
Comment icon #42 Posted by bigjerryjuice 12 years ago
In deffence to pirates against commercial ships? cant wait to see this on Whale Wars
Comment icon #43 Posted by Psukhe 12 years ago
Hmmmmm.... the Russian's seem pretty capable of hitting that pirate ship. But then again, they also threw everything and the kitchen sink at them. I like the Russian anti-piracy policy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhkZwZ2h2uA&feature=player_embedded
Comment icon #44 Posted by Travelling Man 12 years ago
Yeah, the Russians have a great model... All the way until the pirates take a couple of vessels that are either Russian bound or Russian owned/operated, kill the crews and scuttle the ships - and the merchant mariner world starts to avoid shipping things to Russia because it is just "too dangerous". A "self-blockaded" country will quickly change their tune when prices skyrocket and/or goods get scarce. This is the problem with "simple" fixes - they tend to be "simple".
Comment icon #45 Posted by ships-cat 12 years ago
Laser weapons have been used before. The pirates soon developed countermeasures. Where do you think that the tradition of the Eyepatch came from ? meow purr
Comment icon #46 Posted by Psukhe 12 years ago
Yeah, the Russians have a great model... All the way until the pirates take a couple of vessels that are either Russian bound or Russian owned/operated, kill the crews and scuttle the ships - and the merchant mariner world starts to avoid shipping things to Russia because it is just "too dangerous". A "self-blockaded" country will quickly change their tune when prices skyrocket and/or goods get scarce. This is the problem with "simple" fixes - they tend to be "simple". As is your simplistic explanation. Maybe your crystal ball is better than mine? Based on what I've read & seen in the medi... [More]


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