The American Interests reports on the apparently increasing friction between parties in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel, now that oil and gas have been found offshore.
Flightglobal.com is reporting the Israelis are seeking an Unmanned Air System (UAS) for their Dvora class patrol boats (here, here, and here) that range in length from 71 to 86 feet and 45 to 54 tons (smaller than a CG 87 foot Marine Protector Class WPBs). Steadicopter showed its Black Eagle 50, as a possible contender.
Perhaps it would not be unreasonable for the Coast Guard to start considering unmanned systems to complement the Webber Class that are six times as large.
Photo credit: http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/naval/super_dvora3/SuperDvora3.html, via Wikipedia
You might recall the last time the Israeli Navy tried to stop a convoy of “peaceful” protesters bound for Gaza. We asked if there wasn’t a better way.
Apparently the Israelis learn fast and took a different approach, applying “lawfare” to largely eliminate the problem. When a boarding was necessary, it went a lot smoother (and here). Apparently the Israeli’s decided to take the initiative in the information war and jammed the blockade runner’s communications.
Most significantly they managed to make this a “non-event.”
The Israeli Navy has interdicted an arms smuggling vessel 200 miles off their coast. The arms are believed to have been en route Hamas in the Gaza strip, and there is speculation that the weapons, at least some of which were made in Iran, were delivered to Syria for transhipment by the Iranian Naval vessels that recently transited the Suez Canal.
Interestingly, among the arms found on board were Chinese designed, Iranian made C-704 anti-ship cruise missiles.
This is a smaller weapon than a harpoon. The Chinese make a series of anti-ship weapons, quoting, “While TL-10 series is specifically designed to engage boats displacing 500 tons or less, TL-6 series is specifically designed to engage larger naval vessel with displacement up to 1,000 tons. Along with C-704 that covers ships from 1,000 tons to 3,000 tons, and larger anti ship missiles such as C-802 that covers large ships, China has developed a complete anti ship cruise missile families that covers every displacement class. Western sources have claimed that the Iranian Nasr anti-ship missile is based on TL-6.”
(Israeli Defense Forces Photo)
Yes, it is a gun but it is also a day/night electro-optic sensor system that can help with SAR, law enforcement, navigation, man-overboard. When the Webber Class Cutters are delivered they will have a new gun system, but it is really much more.
The new system includes the familiar 25 mm chain gun that currently arms 378s, 210s, and 110s but it is mounted on a stabilized system with an on board electro-optic system that appears to have many uses beyond directing the gun.
The Mod2 is a product of BAE Systems Minneapolis, MN, but it is designed by Rafael, Haifa, Israel and it incorporates Rafael’s Toplite electro-optic system that includes 4-axis gimbal stabilization, forward looking infra-red radar with three fields-of-view, a low contrast, low light level color television camera and an eye-safe laser range finder.
Navigating at night, you can pick out a point that would be invisible to the naked eye and get a bearing and range. Looking for a man in the water, the IR will help you find him. See what is happening on suspected smuggler as you approach at night, or document illegal fishing activities. The electro-optic sensors can be slewed separately from the weapon, so we don’t have to point the weapon to use the sensors.
Israel calls the mount the Typhoon and uses the mount on boats as small as the Super Dvora and Shaldag class patrol boats which are slightly smaller than our own 87 ft WPBs. The Israelis also mount small missiles like the Spike-ER on the Typhoon in addition to the gun which extends the range of the system from 2,000 meters for the gun out to 8,000 for the missile. Here is a video of the system in operation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2kLdFW8EMc ( You’ll have to copy and paste, I could not get it to link properly.)
The Israeli navy moved to stop a convoy of 6 ships attempting to break their naval blockade of Gaza. Looks like there are at least 10 dead. Someday, the Coast Guard might be doing the same sort of thing. Put yourself in the Israeli Navy’s position. Was there a better way this might have been handled?
A bit more information here.