Protector USV, manufactured by Rafael, conducts successful missile firing demo for NATO

The demonstration of the Protector’s capabilities to the NATO force further enhances the need to handle modern threats

NATO forces were assisted by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd for an exercise to demonstrate the capabilities of the “Protector USV” against naval swarm attacks. The exercise demonstration included the simulated firing of Spike missiles to neutralize threats. The exercise was conducted along the shores of Israel.

During the exercise, a NATO ship reported a large number of hostile vessels advancing towards it in a classic swarm attack formation. After the ship contacted headquarters, Rafael’s Protector USV was deployed to identify threats from long distances. After the order was given to neutralize one of the threats, the Protector simulated the firing of a Rafael SPIKE precise, electro-optical missile.

The demonstration of the Protector’s capabilities to the NATO force further enhances the need to handle the threats emanating from terror and criminal activity that naval forces are facing around the world, including swarm attacks noted EVP and Head of the Land and Naval Systems Division at Rafael, Moshe Elazar. The demonstration illustrated use-cases that can be applied by the Protector in a wide range of operational scenarios. These capabilities are a significant force multiplier for the naval forces, from the stage of detection, deterrence and, if necessary, neutralization of the threat, as was seen in the demonstration.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced in March 2017, that it had completed a series of successful tests wherein SPIKE missiles were launched from the Protector USV and hit simulated enemy targets. This was the first ever missile firing from an operational, remote-controlled USV.

Allowing pin-point attack of land or naval targets, enabling safe vessel operation from, with no risk to the operating force, from a remote command and control room or from aboard other naval platforms, this capability is highly versatile.

In use since 2004, the Protector has allowed its developers and engineers to accumulate vast experience to continue its spiral development.

The integration processes of Protector’s entire suite of mission components were finalized. From four mission modules, including force protection and anti-terror, by employing a stabilized weapon station – Mini-Typhoon, a water cannon, non-lethal means, EW systems for protection and escort of naval vessels, Mine Counter-Measures to deal with the spreading threat of mines against sea lines of communication, Topliteelectro-optical long-range detection and tracking systems, as well as Rafael’s Spike missiles, all remotely-operated.

Adaptable to civilian applications, the protector allows for access during disaster, contamination, and radiation zones. It can also be used in seabed mapping along with many other possible applications.


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