Israel's Next-Generation Drones: Smaller, Smarter, Deadlier
(Xinhua) -- David Harari nostalgically recalls the day the Israel Air Force, stunned by the loss of fighter jets and aviators to Syrian missile batteries in the 1973 war, first requested pilotless aircraft for battlefield surveillance.
"We embarked on an ambitious endeavor to create a tool for gathering real-time intelligence over combat zones," says Harari, an electrical engineer credited with pioneering the drone program at the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) early in 1974.
A few years later, Harari and his team rolled out the Scout, a 200-kilogram drone that loitered at about 3000 meters. It made its debut in the 1982 Leb War, relaying images of troop movements and enabling Israel to achieve aerial superiority early on by neutralizing Syrian anti-aircraft batteries. It also made the Israeli military the world's first operator of a modern unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
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