14 December 2009

Protector USV

The Protector unmanned surface vehicle (USV) was developed in Israel by the RAFAEL Armament Development Authority in response to maritime terrorist threats and is the only operational combat USV in existence today. Based on a rigid-hulled inflatable boat, the Protector is stealthy, fast and highly maneuverable. Its low profile upper structure is sealed and aerodynamic and its modular platform design allows it to be reconfigured to meet changing needs, such as force protection, anti-terror, surveillance and reconnaissance, mine, and electronic warfare. The hull is a deep V-shaped planing hull with the inflatable section providing stability and endurance. A single diesel engine drives water jets with speeds of 40 knots.

The Protector offers enhanced surveillance, identification and interception capabilities. It is equipped with a Mini-Typhoon stabilized weapon system, a TOPLITE electro-optic surveillance and targeting system with day and night targeting capabilities through the use of forward looking infrared, charge-coupled devices and laser rangefinders as well as a PA system. It is remotely controlled and is operated remotely from offshore or aboard a manned vessel. This allows it to provide the first line of defense, inspecting vessels of interest while personnel and capital assets are held at a safe distance.

General specifications

* Length: 9 m (30 ft)
* Engine: Diesel
* Propulsion: Water jet
* Speed: 40 knots (74 km/h)
* Navigation: Radar, GPS and INS
* Sensors: TOPLITE electro-optic surveillance and targeting system (FLIR, Digital CCD surveillance camera and laser rangefinders)
* Armament: Mini-Typhoon stabilized weapon system

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