The U.S. Navy is testing a new remote-controlled drone that is designed to detect swimmers, or small watercraft, that target ships in port, according to the company that produced the system.
The “Blackfish”—developed by British defense contractor QinetiQ—is a remote controlled jet ski that has been outfitted with sonar, surface radar and a video camera. The detection technology it carries is designed to thwart terrorist actions on docked U.S. ships like the 2000 attack on the USS Cole when it was anchored in the Yemeni port of Aden that resulted in the deaths of 17 sailors.
The Blackfish would patrol a port area skimming along at 40 miles per hour and can be controlled by an operator who is a kilometer from the craft. In addition, using GPS, the Blackfish can be programmed to execute a security route, according to QinetiQ. In addition, the possibility of adding weaponry to the unit is also being examined.
The Navy has not said how long the Blackfish will be tested, or, if approved, when it would be deployed.
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