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Private pirate army goes live

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Typhon Maritime Security Service has launched its marine convoy escort service, giving ship operators transiting the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean an alternative to ride-on guards, also known as VPDs (Vessel Protection Detachments or Details). Typhon is private army made up of former senior Royal Navy and Royal Marines officers and backed by two major international shipping companies. It offers a naval-grade convoy service to ships at risk of piracy in these waters. With the wind-down of the EUNAFOR’s naval presence in the Gulf of Aden in 2014, piracy is likely to escalate, the company said in a news release. 

Typhon’s close protection vessels (CPVs) shadow client vessels using its umbrella concept, which consists of surveillance, detection and early warning capabilities to identify and assess any likely or suspected threats. Armored patrol boats are also involved.

The convoys travel in a protected “envelope,” which make it difficult for pirates to enter the protection zone to launch an attack. The use of force is a last resort and is reasonable and proportionate using the minimum amount of force necessary, the company said in the release.

“Typhon was created in order address the specific threat from pirates in a number of key geographies,” said Anthony Sharp, CEO of Typhon. “The areas we will protect are too vast for current naval resources to monitor effectively and this will be an even bigger issue when Operation Atlanta comes to an end.

“Our mantra is to combat the problem of maritime crime and piracy using methods that are both effective and proportionate to the threat,” he said. “With millions paid out in ransoms to pirates and much more money lost by businesses in fuel costs avoiding pirates, it is important that businesses are granted a safer passage with their cargo through dangerous waters.”

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