Meteor Aerospace’s ORCA USV performs sea trials

The company says the ship is suitable for missions such as patrol, interception and engagement of suspect vessels, off-shore intelligence gathering, and search and rescue

The ORCA USV. Photo: Meteor Areospace

A week ago, the Israeli defence company Meteor Aerospace successfully completed a series of sea trials with its ORCA Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV).

The trials were held in Israeli waters, demonstrating ORCA’s technical and operational capabilities, including autonomous unmanned operation, use of its various mission payloads and high speed intercepts of a maritime target.

The ORCA trials were remotely monitored and controlled from a shore based Ground Control Station.

ORCA is an 8 ton, 13 meter long boat, built from composite materials. Orca can attain speeds of 60 knots, and has an operational range of 700 nautical miles. An on-board diesel electrical generator enables ORCA to stay at sea for long durations.

Orca can be operated in manned (with a crew of two) or unmanned modes.

ORCA’s missions include patrol, interception and engagement of suspect craft, off-shore intelligence gathering, and search and rescue. 

For these missions, ORCA carries a maritime radar, an array of Electro-optical day and night sensors, a stabilized Remote Weapon Station (RWS) with a long range gun, a directed projector and a loudspeaker and microphone system.

In its unmanned mode, Orca is either fully autonomous with automatic obstacle avoidance, or is remotely controlled semi-autonomous from its Ground Control Station.

Meteor Aerospace develops and produces advanced unmanned defence systems, including the Impact-700 and Impact-1400 UAV systems, the Orca USV, the Rambow unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), and several types of long range precision strike missile systems.

A video showing the USV can be viewed here

Photo: Meteor Areospace