Typhon is launching its marine convoy escort service, claiming to be the first company for over two hundred years to offer a naval-grade service to the commercial market. It was set up with the aim of enabling ship operators to transit the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean in what the company claims will be “unprecedented safety”.
The company was created due to the increasing threat of piracy that has spread rapidly from its Somali roots across the Indian Ocean, to as far as the Gulf of Guinea, Bangladesh and Indonesia. With the decrease of European Union Naval Force’s (EU NAVFOR) presence in the Gulf of Aden in 2014, there is a danger of escalating piracy and a serious threat to the world’s busiest shipping routes. To use the example of the Golf of Guinea in West Africa, where there is no UK, EU NAVFOR, or US naval presence, maritime crime is escalating to the extent that the UN Security Council has recognised the area as a specific threat to international security.
Thus far, the only effective commercially available counter-measure has been provided by ride-on guards known as Vessel Protection Detachments (VPDs). This protection model provides a quantity of armed personnel to live aboard the client ship for the duration of the transit. However, the range of protection from pirates is quite narrow and not entirely effective as a preventative measure. Therefore, Typhon has developed an Integrated Protection Model that detects threats from long range in an Operation Centre in the UAE. In this fashion, Typhon is able to guide clients safely through the network of pirate action groups and avoid known trouble hotspots.
As well as this, close protection vessels (CPVs) shadow the client in order to identify and assess any likely or suspected threats. Through using the multilayered detection solution of land (operations centre), sea (radar) and air (satellites), Typhon is able to make an informed decision regarding when to use armoured patrol boats to intercept a potential target and mount a defence of the client vessel. The use of force is always a last resort and Anthony Sharp, CEO of Typhon, asserts that the mantra of the company is, “to combat the problem of maritime crime and piracy using methods that are both effective and proportionate to the threat.”