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Drones are Israel’s secret weapon

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — While fighting a fierce battle for global market share against two superpowers, China and the United States, Israel’s drone industry considers it to have a secret weapon that supports its production: military expertise.

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Every day, the Israeli army uses drones to fire tear gas at Palestinian demonstrations, to monitor Hezbollah positions in Lebanon, or to strike Islamic Jihad or other headquarters in the Gaza Strip.

Senior positions in Israeli drones are held by former military and intelligence officials, many of whom have become founders or engineers in local startups.

Israel used the drone in 1969 to spy on neighboring Egypt. The plane was connected to a camera and was remotely controlled.

Subsequently, the use of these aircraft became more common, and was used by Israel during the war in Lebanon in 1978, but was not technically sophisticated.

Half a century later, the small country has become a global power in the drones industry and competes in this area China and the United States of America.

Israel’s use of drones against its enemies helps to market this type of aircraft abroad.

Ronen Nadir was a military commander specializing in missile development before the founding of his company, Blue Bird Aero Systems.

His company sells drones all over the world, including Vole, a drone that takes off and lands vertically like helicopters but with wings to improve speed.

Drones can take off and land in a town, forest, or on a boat at sea.

“You won’t believe it, it took only four months, from planning on paper to showing these planes to the first customer,” Nadir said.

“Hundreds have been sold since October 2018.”

– “All of them are former officers and soldiers” –

“When a US company develops a small drone and then uses the marines in Iraq or Afghanistan, it takes a few years between developing the system and using it on the battlefield,” Nadir said.

In Israel, “all employees in this industry are former soldiers and officers in the army.”

“The engineers working on systems development are in the reserve, in fact testing these aircraft on active duty on the ground. When they return to the office, they give an immediate assessment of what they have tested,” he said.

Therefore, the development cycle of these aircraft is short for him, ensuring that Israel will keep up with the “latest developments” in the industry.

One study in 2013 ranked Israel as the world’s largest exporter of drones, local authorities reported.

Since then, the United States has significantly increased its exports of Global Hawk, a high-performance, high-performance drones.

It has also increased its exports of Predator aircraft, which are sold in European markets in particular, making it ahead of its ally Israel.

Philip Finnegan, director of market analysis at Tel Group, says China, which offers cheaper and lower-quality solutions, is also ahead of Israel and often sells them to countries with which the Jewish state has no ties.

“The difficulty in classifying Israeli companies in the market is because they maintain strict confidentiality as to what they sell and to whom, as do the Chinese,” Finnegan said.

But he points out that Israel “certainly remains in one of the top three, if not second.”

– Agricultural drones –

At a recent conference in “Airport City,” the industrial zone near Tel Aviv airport, the head of Israel’s domestic intelligence service, Shin Bet, Nadav Argaman sent a message: “We buy Israeli technology before anything else.”

“In order to survive, we always have to move forward, including in the field of drones,” said former police chief Zohar Dvir.

Zouhir Dvir is a board member of Gold Drone, a company specializing in agricultural drones.

“Even here, military experience is within my reach,” says Zohar.

Ben Alvi of PWR, a specialist in drones, points out that “agriculture today is the most likely place” to use drones.

Alvi points out that drones play an increasingly central role in revolutionizing agricultural practices, whether spraying, harvesting or pollinating.

“When it comes to cost-effective and efficient engineering systems … Israel is the best.”


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