Keeping the Straits of Hormuz Open: New Weapons System to Counter Swarm Attacks.
Juliet Marine Systems, Inc., (JMS), a privately funded company, has announced plans to select a weapons integrator for its revolutionary new product, GHOST. GHOST is a high-speed attack craft specifically designed to protect vital waterways like the Straits of Hormuz and to counter threats such as piracy, which is increasing in many areas of the world. GHOST has been compared to an attack helicopter on the water. It uses supercavitation technology and high-performance jet engines to achieve hull friction reduction and high speed. Its large fuel capacity allows for long duration missions and its heavy weapons payload capacity ensures it can be weaponized to meet any threat.
JMS continues to focus on fleet security and has been studying the problem of how to counter swarm attacks for several years. Research indicates future conflicts will happen in strategic littoral waters, requiring naval forces to operate close to shore. Most navies operating in these regions have deployed large ships that are not weaponized or agile enough to protect against swarms of high-speed boats. The GHOST's unique combination of speed, maneuverability, endurance and payload provide the key ingredients for an outer layer of fleet defense that would engage potential swarming adversaries before they reach their effective attack range.
Deployed, GHOST would have the capability to conduct long duration patrols and missions. Two squadrons of GHOSTs operating from Bahrain or Djibouti would effectively provide protection to the destroyers or cruisers operating within the littoral region. JMS President and CEO Gregory Sancoff stated, "No country would be able to keep Iran from closing the Straits of Hormuz without conflict with Iran's small high-speed boats. These swarm attacks are the Navy's equivalent of the IED. GHOST is the counter-IED solution to this hit and run attack weapon."
JMS is currently in discussions with defense companies to implement an off-the-shelf weapons solution. Sancoff says, "We do not have to reinvent the wheel; there are several systems today that would provide ample power and fit the mission characteristics." The GHOST is designed to conceal all weapons in enclosed weapons bays. This feature provides for an improved radar cross section, reducing GHOST's radar signature significantly and allowing GHOST to carry the most sophisticated weapons available today.
JMS plans to seek ITAR approval of international partners to support deployment of GHOSTs. Iran's threat to close the Straits of Hormuz, an area critical for international navigation, is of great concern. Sancoff says, "GHOST would be a very important and cost effective security tool to exert a constant presence in this troubled region."