‘Protector' unmanned ship 370.
(photo credit: Yaakov Katz)
It is fast, small and unmanned and soon, the Navy’s Protector ship will also be
Developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Protector
unmanned surface vehicle (USV) was designed to support maritime security, mostly
for border patrols and port security.
Based on a small speedboat, the
ship was deployed by the Israel Navy a number of years ago off the Gaza
Earlier this month, Rafael unveiled a new version of the USV that
is longer, faster, more reliable and comes with a high pressure water hose
attached for non-lethal missions.
Unlike the earlier model that was
equipped with a single engine, the new Protector
has two engines – meaning that
if one breaks down, the second can keep running. It also is a slightly larger
vessel and comes with cameras that provide an operator with 360-degree
“There is complete redundancy on all of its systems so if
something breaks it can keep on working,” explained Giora Katz, corporate vice
president and general manager of Rafael’s land and naval sector.
the innovative changes to the USV was the installation of a high-powered
non-lethal water hose that can be used in nonlethal missions such as stopping
Palestinian fisherman from sailing outside their permitted area or preventing
flotillas from sailing to the Gaza Strip.
The mission USV payload
includes an electro-optical camera for surveillance as well as a docking station
that can accommodate a wide range of weapons.