The new upgraded version of the Rafael Protector unmanned surface vessel (USV) will play a major role in protection the Israeli offshore gas reservoirs and facilities.
The new model will be 11 meters long, as opposed to the 7-9 meter in the earlier versions.
The Protector has been in the service of the Israeli Navy for the past five years. The operational model is equipped with electro-optic payload and a 7.62 mm mini-Typhoon weapon system that enables target-acquisition and identification from long distances, allowing it to engage potential threat without endangering a manned patrol boat.
Unlike the single engine on the previous model, the new USV is equipped with twin engines to increase cruising distance, speed, and duration at sea. The new Protector can also be outfitted with a wider range of weapons, including non-lethal weapons.
Sources told i-HLS that the new version will be one of the main systems that will create the “protection belt” around the undersea gas reservoirs .