U.S. frigate seizes suspected pirate vessel
A U.S. Navy warship exchanged fire with suspected Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean early Thursday, the latest salvo in a growing international effort to curb piracy in one of the world’s most strategic shipping lanes.
Shortly after midnight, the suspected pirates fired on the USS Nicholas west of the Seychelles Islands in an apparent attempt to seize the ship and hold it for ransom. The 453-foot frigate returned fire, sinking one boat and seizing the mother ship, the Navy said in a statement. Five men were taken into custody on the Norfolk-based Nicholas.
Talk about an aw crap moment. The USS Nicholas is a Perry Class Frigate and Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates (FFG 7 and later) are not without their resources.
Let’s review; typical outfitting of your Somali Pirate:
Some nice chaps in a small boat with Kalashnikovs and maybe a RPG.
Typical armament of a Perry Class frigate :
Two triple Mark 32 Anti-submarine warfare torpedo tubes with Mark 46 or Mark 50 anti-submarine warfare torpedoes
One OTO Melara 76 mm/62 caliber naval gun
One 20 mm Phalanx CIWS rapid-fire cannon.
Two SH-60 LAMPS III Helicopters which can carry AGM-119 “Penguin” anti-ship missiles. http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-119.html
Four .50-cal (12.7 mm) machine guns
Here is a Video of the OTO Melara in action
A little bit more punch than a Kalashnikov wouldn’t you say?
Thus the Somali pirates found themselves in the custody of The World’s Greatest Navy, reviewing their career path. Some days it really does not pay to get out of bed.