Israeli companies are attempting to become involved in projects to develop systems for the US, who is concerned that Iran or al Qaeda may try to attack US vessels in the Persian Gulf
The US Navy destroyer Cole was attacked by an al Qaeda explosive boat while docking at Port Eden on October 10, 2000. Seventeen sailors were killed and 39 were wounded in the large explosion. Since then, awareness for attacks of this kind has increased. Now, the concern is over attacks by swarms of ships that could set off a series of explosions.
Israeli companies will attempt to be involved in the development of a system that will aid the US Navy in identifying signs of a “swarm” of ships in the Persian Gulf. The need for such a system stems from intelligence information that both Iran and al Qaeda are planning attacks of this kind.
These systems will be based on the presence of a large number of small ships in a certain area at sea, which at a certain moment, could rapidly cruise towards a US naval cruiser or supply vessel. The existing detection measures, primarily radars and various sensors, can detect these ships, but the challenge lies in detecting their formation at sea prior to the start of an attack.
This requires the development of systems based on special algorithms, which would be able to connect between all the information arriving from the ship’s sensors and receive a warning of an imminent attack by a swarm of ships.
The system is meant to start operating when the naval vessel is cruising or docked relatively close to shore – the area where the presence of a large number of vessels of various sizes, such as yachts and fishing boats, is natural.
The US Navy is about to publish a request for proposals on May 24, and companies will be able to submit proposals for a system until June 27.