Pirates Have Little to Fear From Stiletto
The Stiletto, now berthed at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., will spend the summer patrolling for smugglers under the command of Joint Inter-Agency Task Force-South, the Key West, Fla.-based command charged with stopping the flow of illicit drugs into the U.S.
It will be Stiletto’s second counter-drug deployment since the Defense Department acquired the boat in 2006; it’s well suited to intercepting high-speed drug-carriers. The Stiletto interdicted its first smugglers in the Straits of Florida last August.
Back in the 1980’s, I always wondered why the USN didn’t use its then- latest high speed vessels, the Pegasus class hydrofoils, to escort ships in the Gulf in Operation Earnest Will. The fast and well-armed craft seemed the prefect counter to the Iranian fast attack craft of the period. Perhaps the Navy is afraid that the small ships might prove more effective and more affordable, than say, a 10,000 ton battleship in the same role?