A transportable chemical weapons disposal system, designed by the U.S. Defense Department, has been installed on the Maritime Administration’s cargo ship MV Cape Ray, which will soon set sail for the Mediterranean Sea to destroy Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons, Stars and Stripes informed.
According to Captain of the MV Cape Ray, Rick Jordan, who spoke to the press before deployment from the NASSC0-Earl Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia, yesterday, “the green light to set off is expected within about two weeks.”
Up to 700 tons of chemical agents will be loaded onto MV Cape Ray in waters off Italy, after which the cargo ship will head out to an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean to start neutralizing the chemical agents. The task is said to last 45 to 90 days, depending on weather conditions, as explained by the Pentagon.
The Field Deployable Hydrolysis System, as it is officially known, will alter the chemical structure of the said weapons so that the compounds can no longer be used for their primary purpose, converting the lethal agents into a sludge similar to industrial toxic waste.
The final disposal of the residue will be carried out by private companies, to be selected by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) via tender procedure.
Russian Army vehicles have been flown to Latakia, Syria and they will transport containers with the chemical weapons on board the cargo ship. A Norwegian Navy frigate will escort the cargo ship to the designated location.
Naval Today Staff, January 3, 2014; Image: Shipspotting