HCSS Snapshot - Private guards for private ships: the UK approach to armed maritime security

March 5th 2018 - 15:00
Authors: Commander RNLN Eric Wilms & Matthew Phillips 

After nearly 10 years of naval deployment in the Indian Ocean to fight Somali piracy, the Dutch parliament is once again discussing the possibility of allowing private armed guards aboard Dutch shipping. This snapshot examines the approach of the UK, which has allowed the use of these guards since 2011 and now boasts the largest maritime security industry in the world. The snapshot considers whether best practices can be adopted for the Dutch situation.

Download the snapshot

For a more in-depth analysis of the Dutch case, listen to the podcast with Commander Eric Wilms (in Dutch)

Photo by Defence Images on / CC BY-NC-ND


Eric Wilms
Commander Eric Wilms started his military career in 1988 as a Weapon Engineering Midshipman at the Royal Netherlands Naval Institute in Den Helder. After graduation in 1992, he studied at Delft Technical University. During the first years of his operational career, he sailed on board of various frigates as a (Deputy) Weapon Engineering Officer. Commander Wilms then became Project Manager for various (International) Naval Procurement Programs (Sonar, Datalinks, Command and Control Systems and Guided Weapons) at the Naval Materiel Directorate (later merging into the Joint Defense Materiel Organization).