US Spy Drones help protect Superyachts in Indian Ocean
By F. Halliday
The US military is now using remote-controlled MQ9 Reaper surveillance aircraft, the same spy planes that are used to hunt down Al-Qaida in Afghanistan, to help protect superyachts and other large ships from Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
The US military are joining the battle against piracy by launching spy planes (or “drones”) from the Seychelles. These planes can cover vast areas of ocean, much quicker than the warships deployed by the European Union, Nato, the US and other nations.
Joel Morgan, Transport and Environment Minister for the Seychelles, was quoted as saying: “This programme will be able to help to monitor large areas and detect the presence of pirates who operate in small boats that are often difficult to spot.”
According to Graeme Gibbon-Brookes of Dryad Maritime Intelligence, the use of spy planes is the most effective way to control the problem: “piracy is at best controlled using air assets or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)”.
The presence of these spy provides a welcome reassurance to prospective charterers in the Seychelles waters and Superyacht owners scheduled to navigate through Somali waters this winter.
To date there has not been an attack on a large superyacht or mega yacht and there have been no successful attacks on ships at 15 knots or more. However, there is a code of practice that reduces the possibility of such a situation occurring. The best thing to do is to register with the Maritime Security Centre or contact the UK Maritime Trade Organisation for further information. Otherwise you can register with an intelligence service. For this you should consult Dryad Maritime.
View video of drones:
"These drones provide a welcome reassurance to prospective charterers in the Seychelles waters and Superyacht owners scheduled to navigate through Somali waters this winter."