IDF’s “Rising Demands” on Use of Drones in Battle

December 26, 2014

2 min read

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), have become quite the fashion for the Israeli military of late, and other armies have taken notice.

The IDF has created more instructional courses for soldiers to learn how to operate drones than any other army in the world and is training an increasing number of cadets in the field. Drone use is on the rise in the IDF as well.

The commander of the Air Force Drone Training Center at Palmahim Base told the Jerusalem Post in a recent interview that they will be “holding more annual courses than ever before, to meet the IDF’s rising demand for the drones.”

A drone is a military aircraft without a human operator on board. It is cheaper than conventional fighter planes and can be more easily deployed in regions with high attack risks. It is believed that with further advancement of the technology, UAVs will reduce the roles of traditional aircraft.

There are a number of upsides to using drones versus manned aircraft. Drones can spend more time in the air then their manned counterparts, without risking human lives and they are cheaper to operate.

UAVs vary in size and can be large enough to resemble a small plane or they can be small enough to be carried in backpack.

In 1982 Israel became the first nation to use these mini-UAVs in combat, using them to reveal the Syrian air defense systems, thus enabling the Israeli air force to plan a safer and more effective aerial assault. Israeli designed Pioneer UAVs were later used during the Gulf War in 1991.

Until recently, UAVs were primarily used for spying and surveillance. However, in 2001, the US changed all that by beginning to use attack drones in various countries around the Middle East and Africa.

Drones have played a key part in all of Israel’s campaigns since the Second Lebanon War of 2006.

Israel is not only increasing their own use of the drones, but is also creating and selling advanced drone technologies to other countries around the world. Israel has so far exported Heron models to Australia, Canada, France, Brazil, Turkey, India, El Salvador and Germany. Another Israeli company, Elbit, is a major developer of the Watchkeeper drone, which Britain recently deployed in Afghanistan.

“This is a global trend. We know how to identify this. Increasing numbers of missions are going from the manned flight to the unmanned world. This influences our courses. We run more courses per year. The world of UAVs is incredible, and this is just the start. If 10 years ago, UAVs carried out certain missions, today, they carry out many missions, and they are more varied. I cannot go into detail,” the commander said.

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