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The defense industries began to lose huge contracts, and in Israel secrecy was removed from the armed UAVsTonight, censorship allowed the publication


Jul 10, 2017
UAV Heron TP UAV Heron Eitan IAI

The defense industries began to lose huge contracts, and in Israel secrecy was removed from the armed UAVs
Tonight, censorship allowed the publication of what the Palestinians have been claiming in Gaza for years: Israel has overtaken the rest of the world in the operation of armed UAVs. IAI lost its first project in the field about 30 years ago.
Udi Etzion
23:55, 20.07.22

Armed UAVs
More than 20 years after the Air Force opened its first squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles, and after countless reports from Palestinians that Israeli drones are launching missiles at targets in Gaza, tonight censorship allowed the publication that the IDF operates such aircraft.
"At the end of the staff's work, during which the censor examined the field of attacking drones in an in-depth and factual manner, it was found that there is no impediment to publishing the IDF's use of valid drones as part of its operational activities. This is without harming operational capabilities or the IDF's operational method, "the censorship statement said.

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The first armed UAV purchased by the Ministry of Defense for the Air Force was the Hermes 450 made by Elbit, known in the Air Force as "Zick", and later also its enlarged version, the Hermes 900, known as "Kochav". , Capable of staying in the air for almost two days according to the company's publications, which allows it to attack targets at relatively long ranges.
These are planes that take off armed with missiles from their base, are able to stay in the air for a day or two, regardless of the residence limits of human pilots, and in case they are hit and shot down, there is of course no danger to human life. The aircraft are operated remotely by dedicated crews, who are responsible for identifying targets, and directing armaments.
Unlike stray drones, which are actually disposable aerial armament capable of spending long hours waiting for a target, then diving and destroying it, attacking drones are designed for multiple use. They are significantly cheaper to purchase and operate compared to manned fighter jets, but also slower, and carry a smaller amount of armament.
The Air Force explored the idea of using unmanned aerial vehicles back in the early 1970s, using experiments performed on Skyhawks. The pilot of the plane took off and landed it, but the rest of the time the plane was controlled remotely, to test its ability to operate without a pilot, to attack in areas where there is a high danger that the plane would crash.
But the corps did not advance to equip itself with such an aircraft, until Ehud Barak was appointed chief of staff in 1991, and began pushing a large project to equip a valid UAV, in the face of opposition from senior Air Force officials, who found it difficult to adopt a new platform.

In a tender held at the time for the "Central Project," then known as the Valid UAV Project, what I perceived as a big surprise was lost by IAI to a small, young company called the Silver Arrow, set up by Air Force Intelligence UAVs, and soon acquired by Elbit.
Hazik entered operational service in the late 1990s, and Gaza residents quickly learned to recognize the unique buzz of its Rotex engine. Palestinians have often posted pictures of unexploded ordnance fired by Israeli missiles. The Hazik project won the Israel Security Award in 2001.
Elbit later developed an enlarged version of the Zick, which carries more weight and is able to stay longer in the air, the Hermes 900. When the Ministry of Defense decided to equip itself with a long-range UAV, Elbit's Hermes 1500 lost to IAI's Heron TP, and entered service in 2010.
Although Israel was ahead of the rest of the world in the operation of armed UAVs, and especially the American Predator and Ripper UAVs, the decision to leave their attack capability classified also prevented the export of UAVs with such capabilities. Elbit and other companies sold in billions to foreign countries, the Ministry of Defense refrained from allowing IAI and Elbit to sell armed UAVs.

The U.S. has made extensive use of armed drones in Iraq and Afghanistan, operated by crews from U.S. bases. Studies have found symptoms of depression and anxiety among operators, in part due to cases of their harm to innocent civilians.
In recent years, the ban has led to the exposure of the ability to lose quite a few deals in light of the demand for this ability. The one who benefited from this was Turkey, which sold its armed Beirect drone to Azerbaijan, which according to foreign publications simultaneously purchased 450 unarmed Hermes drones from Israel. Following the success of the Beirktar in the recent war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, it was sold to Poland, among others, which planned to acquire Israeli tools. Britain, which operates a local version of the Hermes 450 under the name Watch Keeper, has also acquired armed UAVs from the US
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In recent months, Ukraine has been making extensive and successful use of bureaucratic drones against the Russian military, which has only increased the interest of additional air forces in purchasing armed drones, including from Arab countries that have signed the Abrahamic Treaty. The understanding that the Israeli defense industries were about to lose more deals was one of the main reasons for the decision to officially remove the veil of secrecy surrounding their existence in the country, in order to allow their sale to foreign countries.

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