Britney Spears is one of the most popular female music stars in the world and has a global fan base, but that doesn't seem to include Somali pirates.

It has been revealed that Spear's songs are being used as a secret weapon to defend cargo ships against the threat of a hijacking by Somali pirates.

A merchant navy officer called Rachel Owens (34) told the Metro, "Oops I did it again" and "Baby One More Time" are the "most effective" in deterring the hijackers away.

Owens told the newspaper "These guys can't stand Western culture or music, making Britney's hits perfect." The second officer added, "Her songs were chosen by the security team because they thought the pirates would hate them most."

Ships travelling through the east coast of Africa are always a target for bandits to board the ship, kidnap the crew member and keep them hostage for a huge ransom.

In 2011 alone there were 176 attempted hijackings in these waters and 25 of them were successful.

However, Owens highly praised the Britney Spears tactic as she said, "there are a lot of lives and cargo at stake so security is of prime importance. The speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew."

Adding, "They're so effective the ship's security rarely needs to resort to firing guns - as soon as the pirates get a blast of Britney they move on as quickly as they can."

Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said, "Pirates will go to any lengths to avoid or try to overcome the music, even using earplugs."

But he jokingly quipped, "I'd imagine using Justin Bieber would be against the Geneva Convention."

The 31 year-old is readying herself for the release of her 8th studio album 'Britney Jean' which is set to be released on November 29th 2013.

britney spears
Spears' songs are proving to be one of the most effective defenses against the Somali pirates