Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has completed the development of an additional mission module for its protector unmanned surface vehicle (USV).

The completion of the new capability follows a wide range of successful tests conducted by Rafael. 

The Protector USV launched several missiles during testing, which successfully hit simulated hostile targets. The launches represented the first-ever missile firing from the operational, remote-controlled USV, which is currently in use with a number of naval fleets worldwide.

Rafael fired a series of precise electro-optical (EO) Spike missiles, which can be launched from aerial, land as well as naval platforms.

The new capability facilitates pin-point attack of land or naval targets, thereby allowing safe vessel operation from a remote command and control (C2) room, or aboard other naval platforms.

The Rafael USV can also be deployed to access disaster, contamination and radiation zones, for seabed mapping, and several other civilian applications.

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By GlobalData
"The launches represented the first-ever missile firing from the operational, remote-controlled USV, which is currently in use with a number of naval fleets worldwide."

Rafael Land and Naval Systems Division Head Moshe Elazar noted that the USVs play an important role in protecting critical strategic naval assets such as ports and rigs.

Elazar said: “These assets are vulnerable to sabotage or terrorism and the damage that can be inflicted can in some cases be catastrophic.

“Protector’s capabilities are a major force multiplier for navies, for detection, deterrence and finally neutralisation of the threat.”

The company recently delivered a large number of Protector USVs to several naval fleets and civilian bodies worldwide.

Image: The recent test brings to an end the operational integration process of Protector's entire suite of mission components, including a stabilised weapon stations – Mini-Typhoon. Photo: courtesy of Rafael.