U.S. firm says its jet boat could keep Iran from closing Strait of Hormuz

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — A U.S. company has presented a maritime solution to
Iran’s threat to the Gulf.

Juliet Marine Systems, based in Portsmouth, N.H., has been briefing
major defense contractors and governments on its new fast attack craft.
Juliet asserted that the platform, called Ghost, was designed to protect the
Iranian-dominated Strait of Hormuz.

Juliet Marine Systems' Ghost high-speed attack craft.

“No country would be able to keep Iran from closing the Strait of
Hormuz without conflict with Iran’s small high-speed boats,” Juliet president Gregory Sancoff said.

The company disclosed its plans on Jan. 10 in wake of an Iranian Navy exercise meant to demonstrate its ability to close Hormuz, which contains 40 percent of the world’s crude oil shipments. The U.S. Navy has acknowledged that Teheran could block the strait for a short period.

Juliet said it would select a weapons integrator for Ghost, a platform designed to carry a heavy weapons payload and remain for long periods at sea. Executives said Ghost could foil Iran’s so-called swarm strategy, or the use of suicide speedboats to attack U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and frigates.

“These swarm attacks are the Navy’s equivalent of the IED [improvised
explosive device],” Sancoff said. “Ghost is the counter-IED solution to this
hit and run attack weapon.”

Executives said Juliet has determined that two squadrons of Ghost
vessels based in Bahrain could protect the Gulf. They said the company was
seeking approval from international partners to support deployment as well
as develop an off-the-shelf weapons payload.

“We do not have to re-invent the wheel,” Sancoff said. “There are several
systems today that would provide ample power and fit the mission characteristics.”