EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A quadcopter from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel earlier this month, and the IDF released a short message saying a unit had arrived to take it away for checks. This seemingly mundane incident is, in fact, indicative of a growing trend: the use of drones by Israel’s enemies.
Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIS, and other radical non-state actors have their own drone programs, each at different stages, and posing different levels of threat.
Israel is a world pioneer in the use of military drones, and was the first to utilize them to coordinate strikes on the battlefield in the 1980s. Today, Israel’s drone technology is a global leader, but Israel’s enemies are getting in on the act. The number of remotely controlled aircraft in their possession is growing.
Tal Inbar, head of the Space and UAV Research Center at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies in Herzliya, Israel, notes the emergence of two types of developing threats. The first is enemy use of commercial drones, such as those produced by the DJI company, which Inbar said are “very good vehicles. They are accurate, and you can plan their flight paths. Controlling them is comfortable, and they can carry payloads.”
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