United States Navy oceanic armed reconnaissance system
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A student team at the Naval Postgraduate School studied the need for, and development of, a system that effectively and economically deters piracy in an area of interest. The system's proposed area of operation is the Gulf of Aden, but the system may be deployed to any operational theater where piracy threatens maritime commerce. Piracy and hijacking of ships off the Somali Coast have grown tenfold since 2006. In response to this growing problem, the U.S. Navy, along its with allies, formed Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) to protect approximately 33,000 merchant vessels transiting through this area daily. CTF-151 patrols the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden and because of this, Somali pirates have begun to migrate away from the IRTC and CTF-151 patrols. For this reason, the team studied the use of UAV technology that allowed for broader area of piracy surveillance and detection. The system that was conceived and analyzed was the Oceanic Armed Reconnaissance System (OARS). The OARS Basic alternative, when analyzed against CTF-151, was found to be the most cost effective system. This OARS Basic system is comprised of a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) as a host vessel, ScanEagle UAVs, an SH-60 Helicopter, and Zodiac Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIB).
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NPS Report NumberNPS-SE-11-017
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