The Rafael Armament Development Authority has signed a $200 million deal to supply anti-terror gun-stations to the U.S navy, which are to be used against suicide striker boats and in other anti-terror operations. United Defense is the prime contractor for this program to upgrade the Mk 38 Machine Gun System. United Defense will purchase components from Rafael, and then do the final integration and test of the upgraded Mk 38 Mod 2 systems at the United Defense facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Rafael is the primary subcontractor on this program.
The U.S. navy has been searching for anti-terror systems since the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen three years ago. Gadi Katzir, a senior Rafael official, said the U.S. navy decided to purchase the Israeli system because of its unique technology. The battle station features an advanced "Top Lite" optical system, which identifies, monitors, and destroys targets from a distance of 2 to 2.5 kilometers from a ship.
One of its advantages is that the battle station isn't operated aboard the ship's deck, but by crewmembers that sit in a control room below. The U.S. navy intends to install this system, called the Typhoon, aboard all of its war vessels.
Sources: Barzilai, Amnon. "Rafael signs $200m anti-terror gun-station deal with U.S. Navy," Haaretz, (June 8, 2004); Jeff Van Keuren, APR, Manager, Public Affairs, United Defense Armament Systems Division.