Martime Facilities Security–Swimmer Defense

The Israelis are marketing a anti-swimmer sensor system that claims increased range, believed necessary because increased speed of swimmer delivery systems shortens reaction time.

“The AquaShield ER offers unprecedented detection ranges against all marine threats. The AquaShield ER passed rigorous sea trials achieving detection ranges of up to 3.5 kilometer for Swimmer Delivery Vehicle targets, 1.8 kilometers for Open Circuit Divers and 1.2 kilometers for divers using closed-circuit apparatus.”

Perhaps I am reading to much into this, but this capability may have played a part in intercepting five Hamas commandos who swam ashore in Israel recently as reported here.

I have been out of the loop for a long time, but I suspect the Coast Guard is still not integrated into a multiservice network capable of reacting to a terrorist incursion the way the Israelis reported did.

The Tammuz missile referred to in the report is in the same class as the Hellfire, but with a much longer range (25 km, that is more range than a WWII light cruiser). It has been previously referred to as the Spike NLOS (Non-line of Sight). Since they referred to this being mounted on an OPV rather than a corvette or missile boat, I suspect they are talking about it having been mounted on something relatively small, about the size of an 87 footer.

Russian FRC–Compare and Contrast

We already looked at a comparison of the Russian Security Service’s counterpart of the National Security Cutter with the Coast Guard version. Thought some of you might be interested to see what their version of a Fast Response Cutter looks like.

The first of the class Svetlyak class were delivered in 1988 and they are still in production. The little ships comes in three versions. The most numerous is a patrol version for the Security Service (Project 10410–photo), there is a cruise missile equipped version for the Navy (Project 10411), and an export version (Project 10412) apparently with MTU engines in lieu of the Russian diesels. The Russians have 26 of these, the Slovenians one lightly armed version (more here), and the Vietnamese have two with at least two, possibly four, more on order, armed like the Russian Security Service vessels.


Comparing the two classes, the Webber Class, with it’s high bow, certainly looks more sea worthy, and it’s boat appears much more ready to launch quickly in heavy weather.

The Russian design is slightly larger (375 tons vice 353), slightly faster (30 vs 28), and slightly longer (163 ft vs 154). They have three engines and three shafts instead of two and about 88% more power. They also have a bit larger crew with accommodations for 28 (vs 22-24). Again the USCG vessel has the advantage in range (2,500 nmi vs 2,200–some sources say as little as 1,300). Continue reading