While the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) is a proponent of weapons on commercial ships as a means to thwart piracy, it respects and stays in compliance with international and port-state mandates that reject lethal force in the hands of mariners, and pushes the use of non-lethal methods to stop potential attacks.
NITC currently has a fleet of 43 ships (including 28 VLCCs) totalling 10.6mdwt, but aims to grow its fleet to 74 ships and 18mdwt by 2013.
According to A.R. Darashti, Technical Manater for the Tehran-based company, working out of NITC’s Dubai, UAE office, the company employs a number of technical solutions to keep its current fleet of 43 tankers and mariners out of harm’s way, including:
- Wire Fencing
- Night Vision Cameras
- A Swedish-make water machine designed to keep the sides of the vessel wet and slippery
- Maintaining higher speeds through known piracy zones.
To date, 16 NITC ships have been the target of piracy aggression, resulting only in minor damages to ships.