Yesterday, the influential shipping journal Lloyd's List blasted the Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, as ineffective or worse during the capture of the Liberian-flagged cargo tanker, the MV Biscaglia.
"Our preliminary investigation of this incident is turning up very different facts," American Technology Corporation spokesman Robert Putnam tells Danger Room.
At stake, potentially, are millions of dollars' worth of orders for the company. The LRADs have become a tool of choice for contacting -- and warding off -- small-boat attackers to large ships. The U.S. Navy, for instance, has The U.S. Navy already has 45 of the sonic blasters, and is in the market for more. But on the MV Biscaglia, guards from AntiPiracy Maritime Security Solutions (AMPSS) firm found that the device fell short At least, that's what company chief Nick Davis told Lloyd's List.
Puntam has a different story. "Per unconfirmed reports from other vessels in the area, it appears the unarmed security force on board the Biscaglia was not aware that pirates had boarded the ship, never deployed LRAD or any of its suite of non-lethal capabilities and jumped overboard (probably hoping for rescue) when they saw the German helicopter overhead," he says. "It appears that the principal of APMMS is attempting damage control for his firm’s failings in this incident."
Putnam adds, "We are in the process of confirming the reports and will be pursuing the principal of APMMS and the writer of the Lloyd’s article to seek an immediate retraction."
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