IDF's Growing Use of Drones on Battlefield

IDF's Growing Use of Drones on Battlefield

STRICTLY SECURITY | The growing use of unmanned technology in field intelligence units seems to be the way forward on the modern battlefield in many militaries around the world, and the I.D.F. is no different. In fact, it is a world leader in this field. How does unmanned technology fit into this world of warfare? Lieutenant Colonel Eyal Doron, head of the munitions division in the I.D.F.’s ground forces command discusses with host Ayman Sikseck.

Israel’s military has for the first time demonstrated how it aims to thwart an influx of ‘fire kites’ from Gaza that have wrought widespread damage on farmland close to the Palestinian enclave.

Emerging during weeks of border protests and clashes in which some 125 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, the kites quickly became a popular way for Palestinians to inflict damage on Israel without putting themselves in danger.

Fires started when the kites hit the ground in Israeli border communities are estimated to have caused millions of shekels in damage. Israel, world-renowned for its high-tech know-how, has scrambled to deal with the new homemade threat.

Col. Nadav Livne, the commander of the Israeli army’s Matmon unit — dedicated to research and development of technology for operational purposes — on Thursday briefed reporters on the Israel Defense Forces’ use of mini-drones to counter the wave of kites.

Col. Livne noted that some 500 kites and balloons had been intercepted by mini-drones operated by 10 to 20 soldiers, many of them civilian reservist experts called up specially for this purpose.

The officer said he assumed an interception success rate of ‘over 90 percent.’

‘There are a couple of technologies that we have adapted,’ Livne said.

‘The first is a ‘hard kill’: very small drones that intercept the kite or the balloon and [cause it] to crash to the ground. The second is a drone that actually catches the drone in the air and takes it down until landing,’ he said, adding there were further methods he could not discuss.

When asked if the drones could survive the impact Livne answered: ‘The drones are multi-use. They crash on the ground but they are very robust, and we use them again and again and again.’

The technology was developed at lightning speed, as the spikes threatened to spark massive blazes in southern Israel, panicking residents.

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