May 27, 2009
Early this morning, suspected pirates attacked a Greek Bulk Carrier in the Gulf of Aden. The pirates fired upon the ship with small arms and RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade). A distress call was picked up by the EU NAVFOR Swedish warship HSwMS MALMO which immediately proceeded to the area.
HSwMS MALMO made visual contact with the attacking skiff and fired warning shots and flares. The skiff stopped after pursuit and was boarded by a VPD (Vessel Protection Detachment). Weapons, GPS equipment, grappling hooks and barrels of fuel were found on board the skiff. 7 suspected pirates were captured and are at present being held for further investigation........
The Swedes have stationed two Stockholm class corvettes in the area since last year. The tiny vessels are supported by a tender.
Displacement: 335 tons full load
Dimensions: 50.5 x 7.5 x 2 meters/165.7 x 24.6 x 6.6 feet
Propulsion: 3 shafts; 2 cruise diesels, 4190 bhp, 20 knots; 1 boost gas turbine, 6,000 shp, 32 knots
Radar: Sea Giraffe 50HC air/surf search
Sonar: SS304 Spira hull mounted, TSM 2642 MF VDS
Fire Control: 9LV 300 missile control
EW: EWS-095 intercept, Philax decoy RL
Armament: 8 RBS-15 SSM, 1 57mm/70cal DP, 1 40 mm AA, 2 21 inch torpedo tubes, 4 LLS-920 ASW RL
The fact that a tender supported vessel of this size is meeting success on the other side of the world goes a long way to validating some of Admiral Cebrowski's Streetfighter concepts.
A slightly larger vessel able to be fitted with with ASROC or ( perhaps more realistically) and some light AAA weapons like Evolved Seasparrow or RAM might very well be a good fit for the USN.
With their heavy weapons removed they would be fairly cheap to operate in "warm war" operations like this but they might be quickly fitted with their variable depth sonar and ASW weapons (presumably attended to by reservists) so they would act as sub chasers in a hot war Such a vessel would be much closer to the original "Streetfighter" concept than the LCS it eventually evolved into.
RDNS Skaden of the Flyvefisken class
Vessels able to act as tenders for these vessels already exist. Some of the 'gator navy' amphibious vessels could be modifid to do so and most could provide helicopters as well.
It certainly beats ending up with 200 or fewer ships...
Politicians can give away what fighting men achieve. I won't really consider this event a "success" until after we hear what happens to those 7 pirates. If they get their hands slapped, and are returned to Somalia, then I would rank it as a failure.
The real problem right now with fighting the Somalian pirates isn't available equipment, it's the ROE. Congratulations to the Swedish navy, of course, but no fighting man can win if his leaders don't want him to.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Wed May 27 18:51:26 2009 (+rSRq)
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