Unmanned military vehicles are now roaming the oceans, thanks to engineers at Rafael Armament Development Authority in Haifa, Israel (rafael.co.il). They recently unveiled the Protector, an remote-controlled boat equipped with a Mini-Typhoon machine gun, Toplite day/night camera, forward-looking infrared and laser range finding, radar, GPS and inertial navigation. The boat can communicate on several different data and video links. It is based on a 9-m rigid-hull inflatable design with a deep V-shaped planing hull. A diesel engine powers a water-jet propulsion system. The boat is said to be highly stealthy, stable, and maneuverable, and can be controlled from land, sea, or air. Modular design lets it change missions rapidly, going from antiterrorist surveillance and reconnaissance to mine warfare, electric warfare, or carrying out precision strikes.
The unmanned Protector was designed to have Spear qualities: stealthy, penetrating, enduring, asymmetric, and risk-free. Its modular construction lets it handle several missions.
The Mini-Typhoon machine gun is designed to withstand harsh maritime environments and carries up to 230 rounds of ammo.