An Israeli-made unmanned sea vehicle, which will likely enter service in the Israel Navy, held its first torpedo launch test at Haifa port recently.
Until now, only manned sea platforms have been able to fire torpedoes.
The Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel, made by Elbit Systems, fired light-weight torpedoes, which could be used to target enemy submarines, during the trial.
The Seagull is designed to protect critical sea areas and high-value assets from underwater threats like subs and mines.
The navy can use the vessels to help defend Israel’s offshore gas drilling rigs in the Mediterranean Sea against Hezbollah mines, or Iranian submarines.
The navy already deploys the unmanned Rafael-made Protector sea vehicles, that come with on-board sensors, and a remote control weapons station.
Ofer Ben-Dov, vice president of Naval Systems Business Line at Elbit System’s ISTAR Division, said that “the test highlighted Seagull’s unique capacity to detect and engage submarines, in addition to its ability to detect and destroy sea mines.”
He added, “This new and important capability has, to date, only been available to navies through manned vehicles.”
SOURCE: Yaakov Lappin
The Jerusalem Post