Israeli Navy to Deploy Unmanned Patrol Craft

4 October 2009 (Last Updated October 4th, 2009 18:30)

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

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.