Navy advances anti-swarm defense

Oct. 30, 2012 at 2:25 PM
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PATUXENT RIVER, Md., Oct. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has successfully fired Israel's Spike missiles from an unmanned surface platform as part of a program to protect against swarm attacks.

The test by the Chief of Naval Operation's Expeditionary Warfare Division and the Naval Sea Systems Command's Naval Special Warfare Program Office used six missiles aboard a Unmanned Surface Vessel precision engagement module.

"The USV PEM project was developed in response to recent world events which have increased the concern over swarms of small attack craft, as well as threat assessments outlined in recent studies conducted by the Naval Warfare Development Command," said NAVSEA Naval Special Warfare Assistant Program Manager Mark Moses.

"The study punctuates the effectiveness of these swarm attacks against both military re-supply ships and naval vessels.

"Technology demonstrated in this project can provide a capability to combat terrorists who use small low-cost vehicles as weapons platforms."

The precision engagement module aims, fires, and updates the missile in the flight and is operated by shore-based personnel, who use sensors to control the boat and obtain and destroy targets.

The Navy said that during the test firings, operators engaged stationary and moving targets.

Spike missiles, about 5.6 feet in length, use electro-optic and infrared sensors to identify and lock onto the target. The missiles are made by Rafael.

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