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Israeli defence company Meteor Aerospace has successfully completed a series of sea trials with its ORCA Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV). The trials were held in Israeli waters, demonstrating ORCA’s technical and operational capabilities, including autonomous unmanned operation, use of its various mission payloads and high speed intercepts of a maritime target. The ORCA trials were remotely monitored and controlled from a shore based Ground Control Station.

ORCA is an 8 ton, 13 metre long boat, built from composite materials that can be either unmanned, or operated by a crew of two. It can attain speeds of 60 knots and has an operational range of 700 nautical miles while an on-board diesel electrical generator enables ORCA to stay at sea for long durations. Missions for the system include patrol, interception and engagement of suspect craft, off-shore intelligence gathering and search & rescue. For these missions, ORCA carries a maritime radar, an array of Electro-optical day and night sensors, a stabilised Remote Weapon Station (RWS) with a long range gun, a directed projector, a loudspeaker and microphone system.

In its unmanned mode, ORCA is either fully autonomous with automatic obstacle avoidance, or is remotely controlled from its Ground Control Station. Meteor Aerospace develops and produces advanced unmanned defence systems, including the IMPACT-700 and IMPACT-1400 UAV systems, the ORCA USV, the RAMBOW Unmanned Ground Vehicle and several types of long range precision strike missile systems.

Arie Egozi