Cruise Lines Turn to LRAD

Tuesday, November 08, 2005
BBC reported that the crew of the Seabourn Spirit quickly changed course and headed out into open water to evade the attackers in small boats who had raked the vessel with rockets and automatic weapons fire. They also deployed a military-grade sonic weapon. The long range acoustic device, or LRAD, is a high-tech loudhailer capable of causing permanent damage to hearing from a distance of more than 984 ft. Commissioned and designed after the al-Qaeda attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, the device's manufacturer, the American Technology Corporation (ATC), calls the LRAD a "non-lethal weapon" with a wide range of uses. The LRAD typifies a new generation of high-tech weaponry being deployed in conflict zones. It was bought by the US Navy in 2003, and is regularly used by US and UK forces aiming to prevent attacks on ports at the mouth of the Tigris in southern Iraq. US troops have also used the LRAD in action in the Iraqi cities of Falluja and Baghdad, and it was deployed for crowd control in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The LRAD uses a high energy acoustic beam - in layman's terms, a very loud noise - to disable and disorientate a opponent or a crowd. The units, which measure 84cm (33 inches) across and weigh 20kg (45lb), cost roughly $30,000 ($17,200) each. It is an option becoming increasingly popular on board the world's cruise ships, AJ Ballard of ATC told the BBC News website. While it remains unclear whether the Seabourn Spirit's deployment of the LRAD had an effect on the pirates. The shrill sound of an LRAD at its loudest sounds something like a domestic smoke alarm, ATC says, but at 150 decibels, it is almost double the volume and can cause major hearing damage if misused. The manufacturers say the device can also be used as a loudspeaker, enabling operators to be heard "with authority" above the din of a battle, whether in the desert or on the high seas. Security is an increasing concern for tour operators entrusted with the safety of thousands of passengers each year, most of whom have dug deep for fees that are often more than $10,000 (£5,500) a trip.
Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Cruise Ship Trends

MSC Magnifica Completes Drydocking at Damen Shiprepair

After a very fast and successful 17-day drydocking the cruise ship MSC Magnifica left Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion) for

Norwegian Buys Ship from Princess Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announces fleet expansion for Oceania Cruises in 2016; Sirena to join sister ships Insignia, Regatta and Nautica   Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

MSC Cruises Advance Onboard Wi-Fi System

MSC Cruises has started a fleet-wide optimization installed by Marlink to improve shipboard VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) connectivity. MSC Cruises said it

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1061 sec (9 req/sec)