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Vermont company part of non-lethal anti-piracy system

first_imgSOURCE Moscow Mills Manufacturing. MOSCOW, Vt., April 15 /PRNewswire/ — Moscow Mills Manufacturing and Foster-Miller, Inc of Waltham, MA, have announced a major new non-lethal system for stopping small boats such as those used by pirates, drug traffickers and terrorists. The companies are working in conjunction with the Pentagon’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate program in Quantico, VA, and the US Coast Guard to move the project into even more widespread usage.The system, dubbed “Boat Trap” uses ballistic nets dropped from aircraft to ensnare and stop small boats without using lethal force. The Boat Trap has been extensively tested in both US waters and in the Caribbean. It is currently being deployed on a limited basis by US government agencies.”The Boat Trap has been designed specifically to stop small boats in crowded areas,” said Anderson Leveille, founder of Moscow Mills Manufacturing. “These small, often high-speed craft, whether operated by pirates, terrorists or drug smugglers, are a constant threat. Because these small boats tend to operate close to shore and in populated areas, use of lethal force is often not an option. Using the boat trap’s ballistic net technologies, these threats craft can be stopped and the crews captured before they take over a ship or cause a terrorist incident.”A strong advocate of the technology has been Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a senior member of the Senate’s Defense Appropriations Subcommittee who has secured funding in the annual defense budget for Moscow Mills to develop the boat trap for the U.S. Navy. “It was a joyous day for all Vermonters when the U.S. Navy successfully freed Captain Phillips. This incident highlights the tangle of issues raised by today’s versions of piracy on the high seas. It is heartening to see how Moscow Mills has applied its skill to come up with a non-lethal approach that may help stop small boats from approaching larger ships. It will be important to evaluate all new and old approaches that can help protect our mariners.”The Boat Trap program originated through the Pentagon’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapon’s Directorate in Quantico, Virginia and has been strongly supported by the U.S. Coast Guard. The JNLWD has the mission to develop non-lethal responses to combat operations, terrorism and related threats such as piracy. Both the US Coast Guard and JNLWD have been leaders in developing capabilities such as the Boat Trap which are vital to protecting against piracy, terrorism, drug smuggling and human trafficking.About the Boat Trap TechnologyThe Boat Trap uses a non-lethal ballistic net deployed from a helicopter into the path of a threatening boat. The net-based system ensnares the propellers of a target speedboat, sending an unambiguous and early threat warning and disabling the craft, preventing forward progress. The nets, which are opened by weights propelled from central charge blocks, foul the propellers, rudders and steering gear of boats, stopping them at a safe distance from potential targets.By using the Boat Trap, defense and law-enforcement personnel will have another option that can help avoid the need to use guns or other lethal weapons in crowded harbors where stray bullets pose a threat to bystanders and non-combatants. In areas such as the Gulf of Aden where it is easy to mistake pirates for innocent fishermen or merchant traffic, the Boat Trap provides another option for securing ships.The Boat Trap was developed in response to the attack on the USS Cole, in Yemen and is applicable anywhere small craft pose a threat or need to be stopped for interdiction purposes such as drug smuggling, piracy or human trafficking.The current version is designed for deployment from helicopters, but new versions are in development that can be launched directly from ships or from harbor installations. The boat trap uses proprietary ballistic net technology developed by QinetiQ’s Foster Miller unit in Waltham, Ma.The Boat Trap is being manufactured and assembled by Moscow Mills Manufacturing of Moscow, Vermont.About QinetiQ North AmericaQinetiQ North America delivers world-class technology and responsive solutions to government agencies and commercial customers for many of their most urgent and complex challenges. QinetiQ North America is an independent, innovative technology provider that earns over a billion dollars in revenue operating with small company speed and agility while leveraging significant global resources. More than 6,000 QinetiQ North America engineers, scientists and other professionals have the mission knowledge and proven, reliable performance to meet the rapidly changing demands of national defense, homeland security and information assurance customers. For more information, please visit www.QinetiQ-NA.com(link is external).About QinetiQ Technology Solutions GroupQinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group, headquartered in Waltham, MA, includes the businesses of Foster-Miller, Inc., and its subsidiaries Planning Systems Incorporated, Automatika, Applied Perception, Spectro, Inc., and the research and development activities of Apogen Technologies, Inc. It is a technology and product development group with an international reputation for delivering innovative products and systems that perform under the most demanding conditions.About Moscow-Mills ManufacturingMoscow Mills Manufacturing is an R&D, engineering and manufacturing firm for the semiconductor, aerospace, defense and manufacturing industries. The company provides a full range mechanical engineering, system integration, development and testing capabilities. For more information, visit www.moscow-mills.com(link is external)last_img

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