The Israeli navy – small patrol boats with small unmanned air systems

The Israeli navy is yet to decide what its future vessels will be. Even after that decision is made, budget allocation will be slow. For some reason that remains unclear, the navy is a long way down the queue for budgets.

But one thing that is moving ahead is a plan to equip the current Super Dvora patrol boats with small unmanned air systems (UASs).

The plan – still in its infant stages – may be accelerated because of looming threats in the offshore waters of the Mediterranean.

The mission to protect the offshore gas reservoirs that have been discovered in recent years is performed by the navy. Even after pumping begins next year, and the companies deploy some security systems at their own cost, the core mission will be the navy’s responsibility.

The work is being undertaken to develop small vertical take-off and landing unmanned systems that will give the Super Dvoras a capability to look a long way “over the horizon”.

Work is under way, but there are no specific details. Judging from the past performance of Israeli UAS manufacturers such as Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems, we can expect some very special systems.

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