Life On Earth
Japanese Anti-Boarding Tech Psyches Out African Pirates
One of the biggest problems when it comes to piracy is that merchant ships are forbidden to carry weapons in international waters. Understandably, that makes them a sitting duck for pirates in the Horn of Africa and other places with pirate activity. Japanese companies MTI and Yokoi have teamed up to change that.
The result of this collaboration is a system that makes it extremely difficult for pirates to board a ship. It does two things. First, there is a set of hoses that pour water down the sides of the ship quickly enough to sink a pirate skiff in a couple of minutes and give anyone trying to climb aboard with a ladder a nasty surprise.
The second set is much more interesting - these hoses are longer and they spit water at extreme pressures, lashing all about. This makes it very hard to set a ladder up to begin with, let alone climb it. This is textbook psychological warfare and keeps casualties to a minimum on both sides.
Historically, every time a new defence is invented, a way to get through it follows shortly behind. The pirates are no doubt a very determined and resourceful bunch, so one has to wonder what kind of workaround they could or would come up with.
By Denis Ivanov
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