SP Guide Publications puts forth a well compiled articulation of issues, pursuits and accomplishments of the Indian Army, over the years

— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

I am confident that SP Guide Publications would continue to inform, inspire and influence.

— Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Indian Navy Chief

My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

Drone Revolution in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF)

Issue: 12-2023By Rohit GoelPhoto(s): By IAI, Elbit Systems

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) are recognised as one of the most prolific users of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), commonly known as Drones, for military purposes. Their extensive fleet of drones, coupled with innovative operational strategies, has transformed their approach to warfare. These Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are no longer mere reconnaissance tools; they are transforming battlefield tactics, offering unparalleled opportunities while simultaneously presenting unique challenges.

One of the most significant opportunities drones offer is enhanced effectiveness. Their ability to operate for extended periods, tirelessly covering vast areas, provides invaluable real-time intelligence and situational awareness. These keen eyes in the sky allow IDF Commanders to make informed decisions, anticipate enemy movements, and orchestrate targeted strikes with pinpoint accuracy, minimising collateral damage and reduced risk to personnel. By taking the human element out of harm’s way, particularly in urban environments or against heavily fortified positions, drones safeguard lives while enabling the IDF to achieve operational objectives. This shift not only protects soldiers but also fosters a more sustainable and efficient military strategy.

Economically, drones offer a costeffective solution. Their operational costs are significantly lower compared to traditional manned aircraft, making them a fiscally responsible choice for a wide range of missions. This allows the IDF to allocate resources more efficiently, maximising its capabilities while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Also, Drones are highly mobile, capable of rapid deployment to any location, regardless of terrain or accessibility. This adaptability allows the IDF to respond quickly to evolving situations and engage targets with minimal delay, effectively adapting to the ever-changing battlefield landscape.

The foundation of this unparalleled success in the use of Drones by the IDF lies in Israeli companies like IAI and Elbit’s unwavering commitment to innovation. These companies have played a pivotal role in developing the Israel Defence Forces’ UAS force, supplying them with the most advanced and reliable systems available.

For decades, IAI has been recognised as a global pioneer and leader in the field of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). With a relentless focus on innovation, IAI continues to develop cutting-edge UAS models that push the boundaries of technology. Nevertheless, IAI remains firmly committed to providing unwavering support for its legacy systems, many of which continue to deliver exceptional service around the world.

IAI’s Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) systems are paragons of robustness and combat-proven capability. Boasting hundreds of thousands of operational flight hours across diverse terrains and weather conditions, these systems offer unmatched intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities. When medium-range surveillance is required for diverse missions like situation awareness, protection, reconnaissance, target acquisition, or damage assessment, only an IAI tactical UAS system can deliver the necessary flexibility, ruggedness, and endurance.

IAI’s Mission Operation and Intelligence Centre (MOIC) and Unified Control Station (UCS) innovative ground control solutions represent the cutting edge of technology, effortlessly processing vast amounts of data from various online and offline sensors, optimising mission flow and minimising resource expenditure. IAI’s UAS Academy offers comprehensive training programmes, ranging from initial candidate screening and basic flight instruction to advanced team training and specialised UAS instructor courses.

Elbit Systems has also established itself as a dominant force in the world of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Boasting a portfolio unrivalled in its breadth and depth, Elbit offers a comprehensive range of UAS solutions, catering to diverse operational needs and budgets. The pinnacle of Elbit’s UAS portfolio is the next-generation Hermes 900 medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAS. This state-of-the-art system represents the culmination of decades of operational experience and cutting-edge technological innovation. Capable of persistent surveillance, intelligence gathering, and even aerial refuelling, the Hermes 900 offers unmatched performance and operational effectiveness, making it the crown jewel of Elbit’s UAS fleet. Elbit’s extensive expertise and holistic approach ensures that every Elbit UAS solution is truly turnkey, offering unmatched performance, cost-effectiveness, and operational readiness.

IDF continues to harness the power of Unmanned Aerial Systems. It has invested heavily in developing new technologies like advanced sensors and countermeasures, constantly refining its tactics and techniques to unlock the full potential of Drone warfare. Additionally, the IDF is actively integrating drones with other military systems like air defence and artillery, creating a seamless and coordinated network for optimal operational efficiency.

The future of warfare is undoubtedly intertwined with the ascendancy of Unmanned Aerial Systems. The IDF stands at the forefront of this revolution, embracing the opportunities offered by Unmanned Systems. By harnessing technological advancements, IDF is effectively leveraging the power of Drones to ensure Israel’s security and maintain its strategic edge.