M/V Maersk Alabama deployed its complement of LRAD-X® acoustic hailing devices to successfully deter a pirate attack off the northeast coast of Somalia yesterday.
American Technology Corporation (ATC) (NASDAQ: ATCO), the innovator and distributor of the Long Range Acoustic Device(TM) (LRAD®) product line, announced today that the M/V Maersk Alabama deployed its complement of LRAD-X® acoustic hailing devices (AHDs) in concert with other defensive measures to successfully deter a pirate attack off the northeast coast of Somalia yesterday. "Due to Maersk Alabama following maritime industry's best [anti-piracy] practices such as embarking security teams, the ship was able to prevent being successfully attacked by pirates," said Navy Vice Admiral William E. Gortney, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet. "This is a great example of how merchant mariners can take proactive action to prevent being attacked, and why we recommend that ships follow industry best practices if they're in high-risk areas."
Captain Richard Phillips called for LRADs as an element in a "...comprehensive, multi-faceted plan to combat..." international piracy during his May 5, 2009 testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on piracy. Captain Phillips was taken hostage for five days after Somali pirates briefly seized the Maersk Alabama in an attack last April.
ATC's proprietary LRAD directed sound systems enable commercial maritime security and international naval forces to communicate clearly and determine the intent of potential piracy threats at distances in excess of 3,000 meters, providing time and distance to employ a measured response to a threat's actions. Through the use of focused multi-lingual voice commands and powerful deterrent tones, LRAD creates increased standoff and safety zones, supports conflict resolution, and potentially saves lives on both sides of the device.
LRADs are currently deployed in a variety of government, military and commercial applications around the world, including installations on international naval vessels, maritime shipping lines and luxury cruise ships.
"Beginning with the attack on the Seabourn Spirit four years ago this month, Somali pirates have become increasingly brazen in their attempts to seize ships, crew and cargo for ransom," said Tom Brown, president and CEO of American Technology. "With piracy attacks continuing to escalate, we believe LRAD is an essential part of an overall capability for maritime security and international naval forces in their fight against 21st century pirates."