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08 Sep 17. Israel Unveils Two New Transport Drones. The Israeli Defense Ministry’s weapons development department recently unveiled nine pieces of technology, including two unmanned submarines and a hybrid gas-electric powerful tank, that are due to enter service in the IDF in the coming years.
Some of these technologies are already in the advanced stages of development and have been presented to the military for consideration, while others are still in the planning phase and will need years before they will be combat ready. None of the technologies presented by the ministry has yet been declared operational by the IDF.
They were developed by the ministry’s Weapons Development Administration, in collaboration with foreign and domestic companies, and in one case with a public university.
The Weapons Development Administration, known in Hebrew by its acronym Mafat, is made up of thousands of workers, hundreds of soldiers. It manages some 1,500 defense projects at a given time.
Brig. Gen. (res.) Daniel Gold, who leads the department, said on Tuesday that he and his employees “try not to limit ourselves with the classic methodologies that are prevalent around the world,” which are typically top-down efforts.
Instead, he said, Mafat tries to connect with soldiers on the ground, determine what they need and then work to make them something that will fulfill that gap.
In addition, the department “tries to predict what the future battlefield will look like, in terms of both threats and technologies,” Gold said.
The administration also unveiled two new transport drones which were developed for an open competition among defense contractors, called the “Green Yasuron.”
The ministry said the requirements for the competition were “deliberately very general: develop a small UAV or drone that will be able to fly autonomously to a distance of eight kilometers with a carrying capacity of 150 liters that weighs at least 60 kilograms.”
The drone would have to carry that package to a predetermined location, drop the package and return to its base.
Two very different UAVs completed the competition, one developed by the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, the other by a subsidiary of the private Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd., working in Be’er Sheva with Ben Gurion University.
The IAI drone is essentially a remote-controlled helicopter. It has one main rotor to keep it aloft and a second rear rotor to steer. The UAV is able to lift nearly 400 pounds (180 kilograms) and has a top speed of 93 miles per hour (150 kilometers per hour).
The Aeronautics UAV, on the other hand, has multiple rotors that get it in the air. The drone is much smaller and much less powerful, capable of carrying half the weight as IAI’s aircraft and flying half as fast.
This drone has a diameter of two meters and weighs 120 kilos when fully loaded—75-90 kilo of which may be the cargo attached to it.
“We’ll want to reach weights of 200 and 300 kilos in the future,” said a source in the company, which specializes in manufacturing UAVs and observation balloons for the IDF and other security apparatuses in the world. “The drone we developed can fly at exceedingly low altitudes in a manner that both masks it to the naked eye and is energy efficient.”
This innovative drone can carry a variety of cargo for special forces, such as a team of soldiers carrying out a covert observation while lying in ambush. The cargo may include observation devices, batteries, weapons, ammunition or food and water, nullifying the need for an APC or other vehicle on the ground, which run the risk of hitting explosives, or for a manned plane to drop them.
One of the aerial vehicle’s most distinguishing features is its hybrid engine integrating electric propulsion from batteries with using petrol. This enables the drone to reach distances