Killer Drone Boats
Next is the U.S. Navy's remote-controlled, missile-firing boat, formally known as the unmanned surface vehicle precision engagement module (USV-PEM). Right now, the system is made up of a 36-foot speedboat with night vision and infrared cameras and armed with a .50 caliber machine gun or six Israeli-made Spike missiles. In late October, the USV-PEM -- a collaborative venture between the U.S. and Israel -- successfully fired six Spikes. The unmanned boat is piloted by a crew sitting in a control station that's either ashore or on a mothership. The craft is pretty much designed to defeat swarms of small, explosives-laden speedboats attempting to overwhelm the limited defenses that large ships have against such vessels. Keep in mind that U.S. Navy planners are worried that Iran would use such "swarming" tactics against the sea service in any conflict in the Gulf.