This is coolbert:
Yet with one more blast from the past! The armed merchantman once more takes to the seas. As has not been the case ever since the time of World War Two!
"China orders civilian ships adapted for military use: report"
government has passed new guidelines requiring civilian shipbuilders to
ensure their vessels can be used by the military in the event of
conflict, state-run media said on Thursday."
regulations require five categories of vessels including container
ships to be modified to 'serve national defence needs', the state-run
China Daily newspaper said."
Commercial sailing vessels with pelagic [deep water] capability configured in a manner so that during a time of crisis or war expeditiously able to carry naval war-making ordnance!! Adjunct and able to augment the traditional and conventional naval force.
Historically the armed merchantman has NOT BEEN an anomaly. In that era prior to "steam" merchant sailing vessels armed as protection against privateers and pirates. Whaling vessels entering into dangerous waters as inhabited by indigenous peoples known for their hostility carrying a few cannon just in case!
And during that time of "steam" in both World Wars Germany and England deploying the armed merchantman, often referred to as "auxiliary cruisers"
"In both World Wars, both Germany and the United Kingdom used auxiliary cruisers. While the British used armed passenger liners defensively for protecting their shipping, the German approach was to use them offensively to attack enemy shipping."
In the modern era the armed merchantman I might very well think capable of carrying a variety of ordnance to include:
* Naval deck guns.
* Sea mines.
* UAV and UUV.
Also having a potentiality to carry and deploy naval special operations units on demand.
Most modern commercial deep-water vessels already equipped with an abundance of electronic device and apparatus to include radar, depth finder, satellite uplink/downlink, GPS, etc.
This particular topic originally was slated to be a single entry but has morphed into something much more. To be continued.