The Katana, named for a samurai sword, will be used to protect oil rigs, ship interception, port security. IAI highlights the craft’s reliability, with “no chance of a mishap stopping a mission”
The Katana is Israel’s new unmanned combat marine system, capable of supporting a wide variety of homeland security applications: Harbor security; patrols along coasts, territorial waters and EEZ; electronic warfare and offshore platform protection.
The Katana can be operated both as a standard autonomously-operated combat vessel, and as a craft activated from a distance from a control station with an advanced system. The craft is able to deliver a real-time view by detecting, identifying and classifying both near and far targets, and can intercept them if needed.
Addition features include autonomous navigation, collision avoidance, advanced control system and more. The vessel is equipped with various payloads (including electro-optical), communication systems, radio (Line of Site, LOS, or NLOS), radar and weapon systems. The modular design of the systems allows for configuration and operational flexibility.
The Katana USV was designed by Israel Aerospace Industries.
The Katana, sized 12 meters (39 feet) long and 2.80 meters (9 feet) wide, is able to reach a speed of 60 knots, over 110 kilometers (68 miles) per hour.
And, says Shaharbani, “is equipped with many optical systems, weapon systems and advanced communication systems – both wired communication and satellite communication – and with command systems and navigation systems.”
Shaharbani said that the Katana developers had placed a special emphasis on reliability, making it unsinkable. “It has two powerful motors and it never sinks. There is no chance of any mishap happening that will stop an unmanned vessel on its mission.
“The Katana includes electro-optical systems that allows whoever operating it from a distant station have the possibility of seeing the entire marine environment and focusing on a specific target. In terms of satellite communication, the Katana can be operated from Tel Baruch beach when the boat is at the Pacific Ocean.”
At this stage the Katana is not part of the IDF’s operational fleet, but the Israel Navy is already making use of unmanned watercrafts. One such vessel is “The Protector”, employed in routine security measures off the Gaza coast in recent years. The IDF said in May 2013 that the navy will use the newest version of the craft, which allows, among other things, to reach more distant destinations.