Somali pirates have a hard time living:
It would be possible to take a shovel and go to plow in the beds,
It would be possible to build huts and graze hippos,
Or the ghost of communism to drive into Obama,
Or at the Olympics it is best to run with a barrier.
Only this all does not roll Somali filibuster.
Early in the morning guys are going to work.
Boats turn on their Somali pirates.
They drive to the pure sea angrily.
Looking - walking in the open unfamiliar trough!
It was bad, it was difficult - but then without questions:
Captured your ship - so drive soon babosy!
Edward Teach, nicknamed "Blackbeard," Captain Flint, Madame Wong - the legendary heroes of sea stories are increasingly flashed in the headlines of the media, but this has nothing to do with the premiere of the next part of "Pirates of the Caribbean." Meetings with modern corsairs have ceased to be exotic, and although the boarding techniques remained the same, these stories are completely missing the old romance of sea adventures. Only the crash of machine-gun bursts and the fierce grin of the war.
In the first nine months of 2012 alone, 99 attacks on commercial ships were registered in the waters off the coast of Somalia, of which 13 ended in a seizure for ransom. And on the other side of the African continent, in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigerian sea robbers are rattling - 34 attacks over the same period of time! Low-profile and low-maneuverable oil tankers are particularly affected by pirate attacks.
“Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” - a distress call was received from the MV Iceberg 1 rocking ... coordinates ... “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” - The German cargo ship Beluga Nomination was subjected to a pirate attack ... What can we expect in such situations? Who should I ask for help?
The views of the world public are turning in the direction of military sailors — elegant black overcoats, golden shoulder straps, and windless caps developing in the wind, the Navy will crush any enemy and bring victory on the decks of their ships.
BOD "Admiral Panteleyev" on a long hike
However, the laws of the thriller come into effect - the Navy is powerless against the pirate threat. In the Horn of Africa, dozens of warships of the Russian Navy, US Navy, Royal fleet Great Britain, Italian Navy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Canada ... Atalanta, Elide Provider international operations - alas, the result of all efforts was a hundred attempts to hijack ships off the coast of Somalia over the past year.
The actions of naval sailors are mainly aimed at ensuring the control of maritime communications, the detection and neutralization of pirate forces - difficult tasks and, for the most part, useless. The times when the Jolly Roger rode on the masts of pirate brigantines were a thing of the past - modern pirate feluccas are outwardly indistinguishable from fishing launch boats, and it’s basically impossible to ensure continuous monitoring of each speedboat in the coastal waters of Somalia.
Escorting commercial ships by naval vessels is not an easy task - attaching a destroyer to each dry-cargo ship will fail: shipping is too developed here, dozens of seagoing vessels pass a day. At best, the destroyer can patrol in a certain square and, if possible, assist the nearest ships that have given the distress signal.
An attempt to form convoys was not the most successful solution. Time is money: shipowners and captains often refuse to “wait for the weather by the sea,” and, at their own peril and risk, prefer alone to pass the dangerous waters of Somalia.
Sometimes the Navy and the Marines are involved in the release of captured ships, but here the matter usually comes down to the transfer of the ransom (the average size of which is now 5 million dollars). When an assault is too great, the risk of destroying the vessel and its cargo is too great; moreover, several dozen crews are usually held hostage by pirates. As a result, it is easier to pay off corsairs than to arrange another Chesmensky battle.
And these guys are caught. Boarding ladder found on board
Based on the above facts, the "anti-piracy" actions of the Navy, despite some successes, are more likely symbolic. Warships are ineffective in the fight against the "sea plague" - powerful destroyers, frigates and large anti-submarine ships were designed to solve completely different tasks than the pursuit of pirated felures.
Warships go to the Horn of Africa mainly for training purposes - a long-distance march is in itself a good practice for sailors. And the presence of a training ground for shooting artillery and small rifle weapons in conditions close to the battle, gives the campaign a special flavor. Finally, this is an excellent occasion to “demonstrate” the flag and declare its presence in the open spaces of the ocean.
But, surely no one will stop the World Evil? Nobody will fight the high-handed Somali corsairs?
Fortunately, this is not the case - since 2010, in the maritime areas dangerous for navigation, there is a private maritime security force, represented by many international organizations. And the results of their work are noticeable there - out of a hundred attempts to seize ships off the coast of Somalia, only thirteen were crowned with success. Moreover, it was those who for some reason decided to save money and neglected
Private military companies (PMCs) do not use destroyers and frigates. The mercenaries do not have impressive radar with HEADLIGHTS, no rocket weapons or helicopters. They simply do not need ultramodern marine equipment - the specifics of their work is different. Instead of uselessly combing hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of sea surface, the PMC motor schooner waits for the client’s vessel at an agreed place, where a detachment of armed mercenaries accompanying the sailors is transplanted on board the container ship before leaving the dangerous area. The contract is made, the mercenaries leave the container ship in order to lift them aboard the next ship in a couple of days.
"Mayr Sidiver" - the vessel belongs to the marine PMC Moran Security Group
All that is required to ensure the efficient operation of marine PMCs is a few rusty motor schooners, tugboats and semi-rigid inflatable boats. A set of small arms - from self-loading rifles and carbines to automatic rifles and machine guns; normal equipment: body armor, radios, binoculars, portable thermal imagers, a T-shirt with the company logo. And most importantly - a team of trained professionals (when recruiting preference is given to former military and security forces).
Incredibly, the measures taken were extremely effective: compared to 2011, the number of attacks decreased three times over the year, the number of captured vessels decreased from 30 to 13 - pirate fishing is becoming less and less profitable and attractive. The paramilitary private guards made noticeable adjustments to the plans of the sea robbers.
It turned out that the presence on board of a small detachment of ten armed mercenaries completely discourages Somalis from wanting to attack the ship. Attempts to simulate the battle between pirates and guards do not make sense - Somalis are much smarter than the cabinet theorists. Pirates do not need the glory of sea battles and the Order of Nakhimov, they need a ransom - an intact ship and its living crew, for which you can request a solid "jackpot." Shooting with AK-47, grenade launchers and DShK with armed guards on board means losing half of the squadron and receiving smoking ruins as a reward, resembling the battleship Oryol after the Tsushima battle. Such prospects do not attract the pirates at all - therefore, having felt the whistling of bullets over their heads and making sure that the ship is inaccessible, the corsairs cancel the unsuccessful operation and go in search of a lighter victim.
Legendary squadron battleship "Eagle" withstood more than a hundred hits of large and medium caliber shells
It is worth noting that, despite the victorious reports about a radical decrease in the number of pirate attacks on ships in 2012, official statistics cannot be considered a reliable source of information - with the appearance of armed guards, the crews of ships simply no longer need to report the attacks to their shipowners and official authorities. the attack was successfully repelled, the flow was one “horn” of Kalashnikov. Why raise extra noise, fill out papers and answer unnecessary questions?
One thing is certain - compared to 2011 year, the number of seized vessels has more than doubled; It is becoming increasingly difficult for pirates to conduct their dirty "business", according to reports by IMO (International Maritime Organization, a UN agency), currently 2 / 3 of all ships in the Horn of Africa resort to the services of security guards from PMCs.
Somali "cauldron" or pirates of failure
The generally accepted image of a Somali pirate, like an unfortunate ragged one who goes to sea in his leaky boat and robs court passing by, saving his large family from imminent hunger - such an image imposed on society by human rights and humanitarian organizations has little to do with reality.
No doubt, the fate of the ordinary Somali corsairs is unenviable - most often 15-17 year-olds are recruited into boarding teams: young, daring, fearless. Sometimes even 11-year-old “geeks” are caught among the captured pirates - if they are caught, the naval sailors puzzled for a long time what to do with these captives: if they let them go with the world, they will return to their nasty business in a day. Worse, the “happy release” urges the rest of the minor Somali residents to join the valiant ranks of sea robbers in large numbers — teenagers will be confident of their impunity. However, it is not only about the inhabitants of Somalia - in the pirates are willing to recruit residents of neighboring Kenya. Kenyan teenagers have one important advantage - these guys know English from birth.
Released MV Iceberg 1 after a two-week assault
The main conclusion from this picture - piracy is not the only way to make money for poor, but honest, black people. This is Big Business, a real mafia syndicate whose networks spread far beyond Somalia.
It could not be otherwise, piracy is one of the most complex and expensive ways of criminal activity. And the results of sea robberies far exceed the needs of the average person - with an average ransom amount of 5 million dollars, after just a few years every Somali resident would become a very wealthy person. It is clear that the bulk of the money goes up to this criminal "pyramid". On the technical side, piracy is simply beyond the power of an ordinary person - for sea raids over a distance of tens of miles from the coast, a fast and reliable boat, a set of communication and navigation devices, nautical charts, fuel, weapons and ammunition are required. But the main thing - you need to know where to look for the victim. It is necessary to calculate the vessel with the most valuable cargo, necessarily going without protection. It is desirable to have a weather report, and if possible, to know the position of warships of other countries, in order not to accidentally get into an awkward situation.
All this requires the presence of "their" informants in ports throughout the region; it is necessary to have “connections” in the law enforcement agencies and the leadership of all the neighboring countries - without sufficient awareness, the piracy fishery would not be viable.
Specific circumstances lay their "imprint" on the work of PMCs. Unlike the formidable Navy ships, whose safety is guaranteed by “diplomatic immunity”, the crews of the PMC motor schooners are exposed to considerable danger whenever they enter African ports - in the case of “bases” they can easily give up their freedom and sometimes life.
A vivid example - 19 October 2012, during the next call at the port of Lagos (Nigeria), was arrested the crew of the ship "Mayr Sidiver", owned by the Russian maritime private security company Moran Security Group - one of the world leaders in the provision of marine security services. Reason: suspected weapon smuggling; Nigerian authorities found abundant X-NUMX AK-14, 47 semi-automatic Benelli MR-22 rifles and 1 thousand cartridges on board the Mayr Sidiver (they expected to find sweets and ice cream on board the PMC)?
All the 15 Russians still managed to escape from the tenacious clutches of the corrupt Nigerian police, but the case has not been closed so far - the Nigerians continue to “dilute” the Moran Security Group.
To avoid such unpleasant situations, PMC motor schooners extremely classify their operations, and when entering the foreign ports they try to get rid of such “slippery” things as weapons. Where are the sailors hiding their Kalashnikovs? Is it thrown overboard?
The exit was found quickly - floating arsenals! And this is by no means fantasy - in the Indian Ocean today there are already several private floating arsenals of the Sri Lankan company Avant Garde Maritime Services (AGMS) or Protection Vessels International.
Floating weapons depots are constantly in neutral waters and are not under the control of any of the states. If necessary, the command of the PMC schooner leaves its weapons on board the floating warehouse and calmly follows to any of the foreign ports to refuel, repair or change the crew. The cost of storing one "trunk" is about 25 dollars per day, and the monthly turnover of a floating arsenal can reach more than 1000 firearms!
The fight against maritime piracy is taking on ever more surprising forms: with the passivity of the UN and international maritime organizations, private businesses are finding ever more sophisticated ways to protect their property from being attacked by the Pirates of the 21st century.
Armed Moran Security Group
Fighter firing from PKM, resting his bare elbows on a steel corrugated deck
The main thing in the fight against piracy is a well-functioning interaction between the Navy and PMCs.