Former military and naval commanders brought out of retirement to battle Somali pirates.

7 Jan

The new private navy Typhon will use armoured patrol boats, manned with 240 former marines and soldiers, who will be armed with both short-range firearms and sniper rifles. They will patrol the east African coast, acting as escorts for oil tankers, freight ships and private yachts.

Its directors claim existing defence measures are insufficient. Despite the creation last year of the multilateral venture Combined Task Force 150, whose specific mandate was to fight piracy off of the coast of Somalia, with the assistance of forces from France, Canada, Germany, Pakistan, Australia, Denmark and the United States. Not to mention Russia, China, India, and the UK’s Royal establishing a Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) within the Gulf of Aden

“They can’t do the job because they haven’t got the budget and deploying a billion-pound warship against six guys [pirates] with $500 of kit is not a very good use of the asset,” Anthony Sharp, chief executive of Typhon, the company behind the venture, told the Times.

The Typhon fleet will retain the right to carry weapons, even into harbour, because it is formed of non-civilian personnel and will fly under the British flag. Patrol boats are to report back to a floating military base in the form of a 10,000 ton ship, and under overall command of a former Royal Navy commodore.

Founding members include former commander in chief of the Allied Forces in Europe, General Jack Deverell; Britain’s former chief of general staff, Lord Dannatt; former commander of the US Naval force in Europe, Admiral Henry Ulrich; and millionaire businessman and adventurer Simon Murray.

Typhon’s defence team will begin their first escort mission in March or April, though with the International Marine Bureau reporting pirate attacks at a six-year low, it may be some time before they see action.

As of 31st December 2012, pirates were holding four large ships and an estimated 114 hostages.Image


More Shipping News

Two groups which respectively represent 140 members from the UK maritime sector, and over 80 percent of the world’s shipowners and operators, have offset £40m of pension liabilities to British insurer Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC).

The UK Chamber of Shipping and the International Chamber of Shipping have taken out an indemnity policy on all the funds in the current pot, for members of both trade organisations.

Fixed-income products, particularly government bonds, are becoming increasingly expensive as inflation rises; yield rarely improves to an extent sufficient to offset this price rise. states that standard UK gilts expiring in 12 years 2 months are priced at £128.24, with a yield of 2.321%.

However, an indication of the level of inflation and volatility is the equivalent figures for UK 11-year 6 month, index-linked gilts, which have a -0.399% yield and are priced at £332.325. At current market conditions, fixed-income products linked to the FTSE or to interest rates give negative yields if the product is held to maturity.



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