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ROBOT BOAT TO GULF

An experimental, robotic boat is on its way to the Persian Gulf, StrategyPage notes.Aboard the cruiser USS Gettysburg is the Spartan Scout USV (unmanned surface vehicle), a 23 foot-long, semi-autonomous boat, designed for coastal patrols and the protection of bigger, manned ships.The drone "has a day/night camera, a radar, and radio gear that allows it to broadcast video and radar images back to the Gettysburg," StrategyPage says. And the Spartan can be equipped with Hellfire or Javelin missiles, which could be used to "attack other surface vessels or conduct precision strikes ashore," according to a U.S. Navy press release."It's not known if the USV will be equipped with missiles for tests while it is in the Persian Gulf," StrategyPage notes. But Al Qaeda -- responsible for watery attacks, like the one on the USS Cole -- is reportedly "interested in making more suicide boat attacks on American warships." The Spartan Scout USV could help stop such strikes.

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