The Somali pirate-fighting mission by the U.S. Navy just got a new weapon: the 4G network. Although the initiative was launched last year, the two boats carrying the 4G LTE network are just finishing off testing the system in the North Atlantic before they set sail for the Persian Gulf. The idea of the system, a microwave-based wireless wide-area network, or WWAN, says Wired’s Danger Room, is to free up existing bandwidth on the ships. And one big perk for the sailors on board the USS Kearsarge and USS San Antonio is this: free Android-powered LG phones! The 4G-trained sailors and marines will be able to use the devices to call, text, and transfer data to anywhere within a radius of 20 nautical miles. Helicopter crews will be able to shoot videos of the pirates and then send the footage to the ships or patrol boats for analysis.
The Navy’s fight against pirates–not the Guybrush Threepwood kind–has been getting all sorts of boosts recently, but then with the marauders using increasingly sophisticated technology for their attacks, they have had to. They’ve been crowdsourcing ideas through a new gaming platform called MMOWGLI, and the defense industry has been capitalizing on this with a whole raft of crazy products, including “stinky water” walls.
[Image by Flickr user Official U.S. Navy Imagery]