What is Russia’s top arms producer doing to curb sea piracy?
Vladimir Korenkov, Russia’s top arms producer, has unveiled plans to help repel attacks by pirates and reduce the number of hijacks on the country’s civil ships by use of multi-barrel Rocket Grenade Launchers. More complex than it sounds, the change involves the passing of very stringent laws concerning weapons on boats. (There’s nothing against pirates being on board threatening life and limb, only weapons to defend against them!)
Korenkov told RIA Novosti News Agency:
“Grenade launchers are more complex than small arms. Special regulations are needed to arm ships with them.”
Piracy and World Trade
Believe it or not, piracy is a real problem and according to the International Maritime Organization, more then a hundred incidents were reported in the first six months of 2008, with the African coastline being a prime target. Korenkov’s plan to equip Russian vessels with his multi-barrel Rocket Grenade Launchers will certainly curb pirate aggression.
How have these Rocket Grenade Launchers changed over the years?
Back in 1971, the Navy adopted the MRG-1 multi-barrel Rocket Grenade Launchers. Firing was remotely- controlled (distance is up to 30m) using a self-contained power source from a ship deck or ashore. In 1991, the DP-65 automated, small size, remotely-controlled Rocket Grenade Launcher system was developed and adopted by the Russian Navy. Unlike the earlier version, the DP-65 rocket launcher is fitted with electrical drives of vertical and horizontal aiming systems. It can be mounted on large surface ships as well as on various shore facilities. Unlike its earlier counterpart, it can also be efficiently used against underwater swimmer would-be saboteurs.
Modern portable Rocket Grenade Launchers do not require specially equipped positions and are virtually silent weapons, which just goes to prove that old saying about speaking softly but carrying a big stick. (Or is the other way around?)
In any case, don’t’ mess with any Russian ships carrying one of these babies; that is unless you wish to join the ranks of dead pirates everywhere.