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The Military

Air Cannon Ties Pirates In Knots 770

Hugh Pickens writes "Numerous high-tech devices have been proposed to help ships cope with piracy on the high seas. Now a company has developed a ship-borne launching device that fires a net or coiled rope into the path of pirate vessels using compressed air with a range of up to a range of 400m. The payload net or rope, which has a parachute attached to the end, will unravel and lay out across the surface of the water so that as the pirate boat travels through the water its propeller shaft will pick up the line and become entangled. 'With the trials and testing we've done, it has taken us some 45 minutes to cut and disentangle the line from the propeller itself,' says Jonathan Delf. 'Within that time of course, the target ship is on its way and hopefully help has arrived in the form of naval forces or helicopter support.' The system can be fired up to five times off just a cylinder of air like a simple scuba tank." The video mentions that the device can also fire a payload of golf balls. The systems have recently been sold to "several large shipping companies that travel near the oil-rich Nigerian Delta, which, like the Somalian coast, is rife with piracy."

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