HMAS Stuart damages pirate skiff, disrupts pirate activity

A small boat being towed by a pirate mothership in the Arabian Sea is fired upon and damaged by Australian frigate HMAS Stuart (FFH 153). Stuart is deployed as part of the Combined Maritime Forces and operating under Combined Task Force 151, supporting counter-piracy operations in the region. (Australian Navy photo/Released)

A small boat being towed by a pirate mothership in the Arabian Sea is fired upon and damaged by Australian frigate HMAS Stuart (FFH 153). Stuart is deployed as part of the Combined Maritime Forces and operating under Combined Task Force 151, supporting counter-piracy operations in the region. (Australian Navy photo/Released)

Just after 6:30 pm on Mar. 22, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) warship HMAS Stuart (FFH 153), assigned to CMF’s counter-piracy mission Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, badly damaged a skiff, successfully disrupting the activities of a group suspected of being involved in acts of attempted piracy.

Stuart was scanning the Arabian Sea for suspicious activity when the Bulk Cargo Carrier MV Sinar Kudus, pirated on Mar.16 and known to be acting as a mother ship to launch attacks on other vessels, was seen 230 nautical miles south east of Salalah, Oman. The ship was towing an unmanned small skiff, commonly used by pirates to launch their attacks. Stuart was directed to intercept the MV Sinar Kudus and after monitoring the vessel, launched an operation to put the skiff out of action using sustained fire from the ship’s Mini-Typhoon machine gun. No fire was directed against the MV Sinar Kudas.

Commander Brett Sonter, RAN, Commanding Officer of Stuart said,

“This disruption to a group known to be involved in acts of attempted piracy is a reminder to such criminals that they cannot act with impunity in the face of international resolve. This action once again demonstrates CMF’s determination and commitment to continue the fight against piracy in the region.”

In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and in cooperation with non-member forces, CMF’s mission is to disrupt piracy and armed robbery at sea and to engage with regional and other partners to build capacity and improve relevant capabilities in order to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation.

CMF is a multi-national naval partnership, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across some 2.5 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.

About Combined Maritime Forces

CMF is a unique multi-national naval coalition, dedicated to promoting security and prosperity across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East. CMF’s main focus areas are defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment.
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