Monday, May 15, 2006

Nigeria Buying Robot Navy to Protect Coast

Nigeria is developing a national coastal defence based mainly on unmanned platforms.

Under a US $260 million contract signed in March, Israeli Aeronautics Defense Systems will design and build the naval array, providing manned and unmanned naval and aerial systems, coastal radars and command-and-control centres.
This structure will cover all of Nigeria's 853 km coastline and will be designed to protect its territorial waters and the offshore oil platforms in the Niger River delta.

The array will be based on Aeronautics' Aerostar tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the Seastar unmanned surface vehicle (USV). Three Aerostar systems will be provided, each including three to six platforms, and three Seastar systems, including several USVs.

Both systems are controlled through Aeronautics' Unmanned Multi-Application System terminal and software.

The 11 m-long Seastar USV provides a mission range of 350 n miles and can carry payloads up to 2,500 kg. It could be equipped with day/night sensors, electronic surveillance measures, electronic intelligence/communications sensors, sonar and a stabilised gun system.

For Aeronautics, the new contract marks substantial growth. "It is one of the largest projects in the world in the area of unmanned systems," a spokesperson for Aeronautics told Jane's.

Aeronautics Press Releases

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