American Technology Corporation (ATC) (NASDAQ:ATCO), a provider of directed sound products and technologies, announced that its LRAD systems are being used in increasing numbers as domestic and international military and maritime security forces escalate their efforts to combat 21st century piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa. American Technology created the Long Range Acoustic Device over eight years ago in response to the attack on the USS Cole.
ATC’s proprietary LRAD systems enable military and security forces to determine the intent of potential threats at safe distances, providing time and distance to employ a scaled and measured response based on a threat’s actions. LRAD is an effective non-lethal capability providing a highly directional, focused acoustic output to clearly transmit critical information, instructions and warnings at distances in excess of 3,000 meters. Through the use of powerful voice commands and deterrent tones, LRAD creates increased standoff and safety zones, supports resolution of uncertain situations, and potentially prevents the use of deadly force.
LRAD has proven highly effective in determining intent and warning pirates away from vessels operating off the Horn of Africa, including its successful use by the crew of the Seabourn Spirit in November 2005. Over the last eighteen months, multiple pirate attacks have been thwarted, including recently when a Japanese destroyer employed LRAD to deter a pirate attack on a Singaporean tanker.
On May 5, 2009, USNS Lewis and Clark utilized LRAD to evade pirates in these same waters. As soon as shipboard lookouts spotted two pirate skiffs approximately two nautical miles away, Lewis and Clark’s crew conducted evasive maneuvers, increased speed, and deployed LRAD, issuing verbal warnings to the approaching skiffs - successfully preventing the attack.