As domestic economies change into a global market, dependent on the ocean for energy, food and transportation, the open seas becoming contested areas, and pirates, outlaws and terrorists using isolated littorals as safe haven, prowling waterways and the open sea along international merchant routes, no wonder that governments are looking for new means to deal with the new challenges. Defense-Update reports from IMDEX 2013.
Changing interest span from securing off-shore assets throughout littoral and Economical Exclusion Zone (EEZ), protecting economical rights including fishery, mineral resources and merchant marine routes. Coastal protection, particularly addressing terror threats and infiltration from the sea, is also critical in defending urban centers, key infrastructure, port facilities, power stations and other strategic assets.
With the rising costs of maritime security, government agencies are interested in smaller, highly versatile boats that could operate effectively in peacetime, emergency and at war. Boats that can effectively chase smugglers, and human traffickers, defeat well-armed terror attacks and become part of the nation’s maritime power in time of war.
According to Ramta, on the SMDR, a crew of 10 can effectively fulfill all tasks. The key to such efficiency is newly designed Combat Information Center (CIC) and operating consoles. Instead of dedicating specific console for each task (detection, identification, defensive systems, offensive systems, situational display, communications etc.) IAI introduced a common, compact operating station integrating all functions into a single display, similar to those used in the cockpit of fighter aircraft. Specific tasks are shown on different displays, integrated into the situational picture, which also supports routine operations. A typical CIC layout in the SDMR comprises three common and interchangeable workstations that support regular operations in peacetime and can be easily reconfigured into detection, defense and offense workstations at war. To simplify these tasks the system employs extensive automation to simplify and expedite certain processes by minimizing user interactions.
Eventually, IAI/Ramta plans to expand the Super Dvora to unmanned surface vessels, extending capabilities developed and fielded by the company in the past 30 years. Such autonomous vessels would establish routine patrols, generate the marine situational picture required for operation and security, supporting manned and unmanned operators with maximum security at an affordable cost.