Magazine article National Defense

Boat Barrier Designed to Protect against Maritime Terrorist Attacks

Magazine article National Defense

Boat Barrier Designed to Protect against Maritime Terrorist Attacks

Article excerpt

After 10 years of development, an Andover, Mass., small business has introduced an interlocking sea barrier that it says can protect ports, oil rigs, bridges and other sea-based infrastructures from terrorist attacks.

Justin Bishop, founder and chief technology officer of HALO Maritime Defense Systems, said that after the USS Cole bombing in Yemen in 2000, he was motivated to invent something that could prevent similar attacks.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It uses a series of large, yellow non-toxic, polyethylene blocks that lock together and are reinforced by steel cables, and moored to the ocean floor. For the system to work, there must be two walls. It is not the plastic material that gives them their strength, but rather the tons of water in between them, he explained.

"I wanted something that could protect against a small boat attack, but not be so myopic and think there would only he one boat," he said. Terrorist organizations such as the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka would use swarming attacks with multiple boats, he said.

If a boat smashes into the wall, the kinetic energy is absorbed and dispersed in the tons of water between the two walls, and shoots up in a plume. …

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