Elbit Systems unveils unmanned patrol boat
The Silver Marlin is 10.6 m long, has a maximum speed of 81 kmh, and has a range of 500 km,
Amnon Barzilai 20 Nov 06 15:57
Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) has revealed to “Globes” its “Silver Marlin”, an unmanned patrol boat with weapons stations and observation and communications systems, and capable of operating within a range of up to 500 kilometers. The company is negotiating with the Israel Navy to test and evaluate the boat’s performance for possible procurement.
Elbit Systems is the third Israeli company to develop an unmanned patrol boat, after Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd. and Yavne-based Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd. These unmanned patrol boats are designed for maritime anti-terrorism operations, operations in shallow water, search and rescue, and other missions.
Elbit Systems’ unmanned aerial and naval vehicles division developed the Silver Marlin. It is the company’s second-generation unmanned patrol boat. Unit head Col. (res.) Rami Ben-Ami said the Silver Marlin was different from unmanned patrol boats developed to date. Other unmanned patrol boats are remote controlled, whereas the Silver Marlin is autonomous. While first-generation unmanned patrol boats could operate from received commands, second-generation unmanned patrol boats can handle complete missions, including setting sail and returning to their home port using preset instruction, and maintaining an observation point.
Elbit Systems developed the Silver Marlin as part of the company’s strategic policy to emphasize unmanned platforms. The company is a leader in Israel and worldwide in UAV development, and has also developed the Avant-Guard automatic patrol vehicle.
Elbit Systems has not disclosed how much it spent on developing its unmanned patrol boats, but the figure is estimated at several million dollars. The Silver Marlin is 10.6 meters long, three times the length of first-generation unmanned patrol boats. It has a maximum speed of 81 kmh, weighs four tons, can carry a 2.5-ton payload, remain at sea for 24-36 hours, has an operational range of 500 km, and is equipped with two 315-horsepower diesel engines.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on November 20, 2006