Navy Buying Small Armed Craft to Boost Port Security

Thursday, December 08, 2005
The navy is buying a dozen 9.3-metre-long aluminum boats to conduct 24-hour port security patrols around warships anchored or docked in Halifax and Esquimalt, B.C., according to a Chronicle Herald report. Experts believe the purchase is aimed at preventing terrorist attacks similar to the October 2000 incident when two al-Qaeda suicide bombers brought a small boat alongside the USS Cole as it refueled in Yemen. They detonated explosives hidden in the boat, killing themselves and 17 sailors, and blasting a huge hole in the American destroyer’s hull. The new security boats will act as a "backstop" against terrorist attacks, and will likely carry .50-calibre machine-guns, according to the report. The navy has yet to provide price data for the boats, and is also in the process of spending $240,000 to add more closed-circuit television systems to CFB Halifax. In addition, plans are underway to acquire a low-light video camera system for ships to use at home or when they visit other ports. Source: Chronicle Herald

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