The Rafael Armament Development Authority has signed a $200 million deal to supply anti-terror gun-stations to the U.S navy, which are to be used against suicide striker boats and in other anti-terror operations. Rafael signed an agreement with the American arms manufacturer United Defense Limited Partnership (UDLP).
"Working with the U.S. navy is a strategic achievement for Rafael," said the company's marketing director, Dr. Eitan Yudilevich. Called "Anti Terror Force Protection," the new Rafael system is considered a technological breakthrough, and is already in use on Israeli ships.
The Rafael deal stems from U.S. military efforts to improve anti-terror defenses, and company officials believe that similar deals for battle-stations on ships will be signed with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Marines, though on a smaller scale.
The U.S. navy has been searching for anti-terror systems since the attack on the USS Cole in the Yemen three years ago. Gadi Katzir, a senior Rafael official, said the U.S. navy decided to purchase the Israeli system because of its unique technology. The battle station features an advanced "Top Lite" optical system, which identifies, monitors, and destroys targets from a distance of 2 to 2.5 kilometers from a ship.
One of its advantages is that the battle station isn't operated aboard the ship's deck, but by crew members who sit in a control room below. The U.S. navy intends to install this system, called the Typhoon, aboard all of its war vessels.