Somali pirates continue to use rocket launchers and grenades to attack ships

Illustration for article titled Somali pirates continue to use rocket launchers and grenades to attack ships

The pirates of Somalia are getting even more bold and heavily-armed than ever. Earlier this week, twelve pirates were arrested after they attacked a merchant vessel with rocket propelled grenades. If contemporary piracy is going to emulate historical piracy, you can bet that today's pirates will be tomorrow's mercenaries for powers in the developed world. Get ready: The next time the U.S. decides to invade a country with a naval fleet, it will enlist the aid of Somali pirates to harass the enemy in coastal waters.


According to a release from NATO:

A merchant vessel sailing 260 miles off the Somali Coast, made a distress call, reporting that she was coming under attack by six men in a fast moving boat, armed with rocket propelled grenades (RPG). Thankfully, having employed avoidance tactics, the merchant vessel was able to escape the attack. Upon hearing the distress call, NATO warship USS Halyburton, operating as part of NATO's counter piracy operation – Ocean Shield, and on patrol 80 nautical miles away, launched her helicopter and was able to quickly locate a suspect boat – which was by now towing another vessel, with several men on board.

EU Naval Force (EU Navfor) French Frigate Surcouf, operating as part of the EU's counter piracy mission – Operation Atalanta, made best speed to the area, as a German EU Navfor Maritime Patrol Aircraft kept watch overhead. Upon arrival, and in full cooperation with the NATO warship, the boarding team from Surcouf boarded the two suspect vessels and apprehended twelve men in total. All twelve men are currently being held on board for evidence collection in order to fully assess the possibility of legal prosecution.

Read more via Maritime Propulsion news.



If all this continues, the merchant ships are going to start arming themselves or hiring protective escorts.