UAVs to counter piracy?
Drones could help close the capabilities gaps that allow pirates to flourish in Asian waters.
Countering the ‘Pirates’ Paradise’: Unmanned Systems and Marine Security in Southeast Asia
By Tobias Burgers and Scott N. Romaniuk
In prior articles, we wrote about the use of unmanned systems for military affairs, focusing on naval combat and hybrid warfare and the possible dangers of how unmanned systems could fit into the framework of political hybrid warfare. However, unmanned systems – UAVs in particular – have more uses than those described above, including the use of UAVs for surveillance purposes to counter piracy across Southeast Asian (SEA) waters.
Piracy spiked in many parts of the world in the early 2000s, particularly in oceans with high traffic and relatively long distances being covered by container ships with little or no protection in the open waters. As reported in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) most recent quarterly report on maritime piracy, during the first three quarters of 2017, an estimated 121 incidences of piracy occurred. Incidences of piracy covered such actions as attempted attacks, boardings, shootings, hijackings (and attempts), and citings of suspicious vessels by commercial shipping.
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