Private navy to fight pirates

By Fiona Keating

A UK fleet created by a group of businessmen is seeking out pirates in the Indian Ocean.

Its armed vessels include a 10,000-tonne mother ship and high-speed armoured patrol boats. It will be led by an ex-Royal Navy commodore who is in charge of recruiting 240 former marines and sailors for the unit.

Starting in the next few months, the seafaring craft will escort oil tankers, bulk carriers and yachts around the east coast of Africa.

The company behind the scheme is Typhon, set up because the Royal Navy, Nato and the European Union Naval Force lack the vessels to patrol the area, which is as large as North America.

“They can’t do the job because they haven’t got the budget,” Anthony Sharp, chief executive of Typhon, told the Sunday Times.

“Deploying a billion-pound warship against six guys [pirates] with $500 of kit is not a very good use of the asset.”

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