The Israeli Navy intends to deploy unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) in the near future for patrols along the Mediterranean coast.

The navy is planning to deploy the remote-controlled aircraft from land-based stations on the Gaza coast, and if necessary near the border with Lebanon, for a wide range of missions, including patrols, anti-terror, surveillance and reconnaissance.

A Senior IDF spokesman said that there are areas that the navy prefers to first enter in an unmanned capacity before a manned capacity.

“We will soon declare both systems operational,” the source said.

The navy has already purchased a a remote-controlled USV, called the Predator from Rafael Advanced Systems, which is equipped with a stabilised mini-Typhoon weapon system, cameras, radar equipment and electro optics.

The navy has also revealed the procurement of a second undisclosed system, to carry a wide variety of payloads, including cameras, sensors and weapons.

Both systems experienced action for the first time during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year to enforce a sea blockade aimed at stopping weapons shipments.