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June 29, 2010

Dutch submarine to intercept Somali pirate communications

At NATO's request, the Netherlands is to deploy a submarine as part of multinational efforts to combat piracy off the east coast of Africa, from the Gulf of Aden to the Indian Ocean.

"The submarine will be used to monitor communication between pirate vessels and their warlords on shore," says NATO,"helping to curtail the hijacking of commercial ships for ransoms worth millions in US dollars."

The submarine will be the first to contribute to NATO’s anti-piracy mission “Operation Ocean Shield” off the horn of Africa.

One of four Royal Netherlands Navy Walrus-class submarines , it is one of the most modern non-nuclear submarines. Built with stealth technologies, it is very difficult to detect – even by other submarines – and can remain submerged for long periods.

The submarine will be deployed from the end of September to the end of November 2010.

NATO recently extended Operation Ocean Shield for a further three years. Its current mandate will end in December 2012.


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