IMDEX 2011: Rafael offers Protector non-lethal options
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has disclosed plans to extend the armoury of weapons available to its family of Protector USVs, according to company officials.
Speaking to Shephard at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX) in Singapore, Rafael marketing director, Naval Warfare Systems Directorate, Daniel Maoz said testing of a non-lethal weapon system would begin in the 'next few weeks'.
Currently, Protector can be fitted with Rafael's Mini-Typhoon remote weapon station (RWS) which comprises either .50-cal, 7.62mm or 40mm weapons. Maoz said the non-lethal option would be housed on a separate RWS and suggested a single Protector USV could operate with Mini-Typhoon on the bow and non-lethal system on the stern.
The US-based tests will see the integration of a water cannon, designed to knock a man down at ranges up to 60m. It will also be operated from the same control station as Mini-Typhoon, Maoz added. International operators of the Protector USV include Israel and Singapore.
Meanwhile, Rafael said it was also developing a 30mm variant of its larger Typhoon RWS, designed for manned maritime vessels, even though the Israel Defense Forces currently operate 25mm versions of the RWS. Maoz said Rafael's strategy was devised to 'target navies who might want longer ranges' as well as more stopping power.
Rafael said it was looking to incorporate an ATK weapon system into the Typhoon RWS with sources suggesting it could be a version of the 30mm M230LF cannon as carried by AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. However, Maoz said such a variant will not be ready for production for another year. ATK has already developed its M230 into the Modular Advanced Weapon System (MAWS) for naval applications.
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