For over a decade, the media has constantly tried to portray the small boat threat as the primary threat to both naval forces and merchant shipping. Funnily enough Western Navies have responded with things such as enhanced force protection, better close range weapons (eg helicopter mounted heavy machine guns, Minguns, the upgraded version of Phalanx with surface modes, and the new DS30M Mk2 cannon, and other measures Additionally FIAC threats are built into FOST training serials and exercises such as JOINT WARRIOR. The limited FIAC threat from Saddam Husseins's forces in March 2003 was dealt with without difficulty. Similarly the employment of naval forces on counter narcotics and counter piracy operations has proved (amongst other things) that shipborne helicopters can very effectively detect and track small surface craft. Attempted small boat attacks during operations in Libya were either defeated by 30mm cannon fire from Apaches based aboard HMS Ocean, or by naval gunfire (including from HMS Liverpool). Considerable intellectual effort has been put into dealing with this threat, including these papers: Operational Art Can Neutralize the Asymmetric Small Boat Threat in Major Operations (2002) Net Centric Maritime Warfare – Countering a ‘Swarm’ of Fast Inshore Attack Craft (2005) This paper explains the nature of the threat and the issues involved in countering it. . Yet the media still like to claim that this threat presents an insolvable problem. Consider this story from the Telegraph: Little boat, big danger: how a British-made speedboat has become a weapon in Iran's standoff with the US - Telegraph How much of this is for political reasons, and how much due to misunderstand (remember that 2002 exercise in which Von Ripper's Iranians won?) Also people seem to forget that whilst a small boat going fast is going to be hard to hit, it is unlikely to provide a decent platform for weapons launch. Also larger FIACs may fire missiles or torpedos, which can be counted by decoys and other defence systems. Whether or not the small boat/swarm threat is new, they are new weapons that exist now or are in the pipeline to counter this threat. The LCITS rocket: Can naval helicopters be modified to carry rocket pods? If so then the Merlin/Lynx/Wildcat/Seahawk tracking small craft using radar and EO sensors can also inflict significant attrition. I believe the Sea Skua replacement is being developed with FIACs in mind. The Griffin missile from Raytheon: I am not sure whether it was designed with naval applications in mind, but it is being fitted to LCS and Cyclone class patrol craft. Could it be fitted to MCMVs for self defence? Before Christmas, I was looking for something or other on the web and noted the CENTURION launcher on the Chemring website. At the time I wondered if it could be used to counter asymmetric threats. Well, apparently yes. Raytheon and Chemring are now working together to develop a launcher. Not entirely sure what it will launch - Griffin? So despite what the pant wetters in the media would have us the threat can be dealt with using things familiar to navies, defence in depth, weapons, sensors, communications, tactics, training, procedures. The FIAC is nowhere near as much of a game changer us some like to think.