Israeli defense looks to unmanned boats for anti-submarine warfare and a variety of other maritime tasks

Oct. 21, 2019
Elbit is pursuing autonomous naval vessels to counter submarines and mines is a search by Israel for markets and niches that aren’t saturated.

HAIFA, Israel – It’s Friday afternoon, and several Elbit representatives are standing at Haifa Port alongside their guests, representatives of a foreign country’s defense establishment. The former are explaining to the latter the advantages of the boats anchored alongside them, in an effort to zero in on a purchase. Haaretz reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

21 Oct. 2019 -- It isn’t immediately obvious why the foreign country should purchase these unmanned boats, but a naval expert could probably spot the difference immediately. The passenger compartment is significantly smaller than that of similar vessels, with room for only four people, and it has no bathroom, bunks, or galley.

Even more interesting is what’s going on below deck, where most of the space is devoted to the computers responsible for the vessel’s operations. The control room is significantly larger than that of similar vessels, as is its climate control infrastructure to preserve the temperature at which the computers operate. Moreover, almost all this boat’s mechanical and electrical parts – the fuses, generators, batteries and alternators – come in pairs.

The reason for this vessel’s unusual structure and redundancies is that it is meant to operate without any people on board for anti-submarine warfare and other tasks, so there will be no one to replace a burnt fuse or fix the generator. If a component fails, it will continue to operate with the replacement component.

Related: Congress asks U.S. Navy to analyze the tactics and weapons necessary to fight swarms of attack boats.

Related: Navy moves forward with unmanned surface vessel with embedded computer for counter-mine warfare

Related: Navy orders additional unmanned boats from Textron to provide LCS mine sweeping capability

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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