Ahead of possible strike on Iran, the US reportedly mulls purchasing Rafael’s remote-controlled robotic boats after successful test off Maryland coast
By Udi Etzion
Recent reports revealed that the Iranian military had recently purchased numerous small vessels and manned each of them with Revolutionary Guard officers. The vessels are meant to either block or attack any American aircraft carrier making its way to the Strait of Hormuz.
According to intelligence assessments, Iran will use these vessels as suicide boats, in a manner similar to Japan’s use of kamikaze pilots during World War II.
In light of the possible danger, the US Navy is reportedly considering purchasing the “Protector,” a remote-controlled boat developed by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
According to foreign reports, the Israel Navy has recently started using the robotic boats and has armed them with anti-armor “Spike” missiles.
On Wednesday, the US Navy fired missiles from several unmanned surface vehicles (USV) in tests which took place off the coast of Maryland. All six test-fires were reportedly accurate.
“The tests are a significant step forward in weaponizing surface unmanned combat capability,” Mark Moses, the US Navy’s drone boats program manager, told Wired Magazine.
“The boats could be used for a number of applications, including harbor security, and in various defensive operations and scenarios, which are of primary concern for the Navy,” Moses added.
The “Protector” deal between Israel and the US is expected to amount to millions of dollars. However the Americans might not purchase the Israeli “Spike” missiles and opt for American-made missiles, such as the “Javelin” or the “Hellfire” instead.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4297870,00.html