Friday, June 20th, 2014 | Posted by WorldTribune.com
Israel develops system to track, destroy low-flying drones from Syria, Lebanon
Special to WorldTribune.com
TEL AVIV — The Israel Air Force has developed a capability to rapidly track and destroy enemy unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Air Force has asserted that officers drafted techniques based on existing assets to track low-flying UAVs from Lebanon and Syria.
They said the effort was meant to stop the penetration of Israeli air space
by UAVs sent by the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah.
“The entire Air Force was geared to stop manned aircraft, particularly
fighter-jets traveling beyond the speed of sound,” an officer said. “We
weren’t used to dealing with slow-moving tactical UAVs although we
understood their danger.”
Officers said the Air Force began to grapple with Hizbullah UAVs during
the war in 2006. In 2012, the Air Force spent more than an hour finding a
Hizbullah UAV that flew from the Mediterranean Sea to the West Bank.
“At that point, we understood that Hizbullah was testing our response
time and would use UAVs as a major element in its attack strategy,” the
Officers said the Air Force worked with leading Israeli defense
contractors, including Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael
Advanced Defense Systems. They said the military drafted simulations in
which UAVs, flying at a speed of 180 kilometers an hour, could be spotted
with electro-optical systems already fitted to the Air Force’s F-16 fleet.
One weapon deemed capable of intercepting tactical UAVs was identified
as the Python-4 air-to-air missile. The heat-seeking missile, developed by
Rafael, was meant to turn 180 degrees within three seconds and engage
off-bore sight targets.
The Air Force has assessed that Middle East militaries would make UAVs a
key part of their offensive capability. Officers said such countries as
Egypt, Iran and Syria were expected to develop or convert existing unmanned
aircraft into combat platforms.
“UAVs are now seen as an inexpensive alternative to cruise missiles,”
another officer said.http://www.worldtribune.com/2014/06/20/israel-develops-strategy-track-destroy-low-flying-drones-syria-lebanon/