Infantry: Do Not Go Anywhere Without It

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May 8,2008: Israel is equipping every combat battalion with micro-UAVs. It will take several years to complete the project. Currently, many battalions are equipped with Skylark UAV systems (three ten pound UAVs, plus one set of ground control equipment). The Skylark, like most micro-UAVs, is a battery powered plastic aircraft. It can stay up for 90 minutes per flight and can operate up to ten kilometers from the base station (radio gear and a laptop computer). The UAV can be equipped with night vision video equipment, or a color day camera.

The Israelis pioneered the development of UAVs that worked (the U.S. spent a lot more money on UAVs, never quite getting it right, before buying Israeli systems and getting on the right track.) The United States has several thousand micro-UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Israelis have noted the successes of these aircraft. The Israelis have been very successful using micro-UAVs in counter-terror operations. Now these small, remotely controlled aircraft, are becoming a standard item of combat unit equipments. The current generation of combat commanders feel very deprived if they have to operate without access to real-time overhead video.

 


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