Israeli ground forces want more dedicated UASs

The ground units of the Israeli defence forces (IDF) are expanding the use of unmanned air systems (UAS) for their operations.

They are being equipped with battalion- and brigade-level UASs for over-the-hill or over-the-mountain intelligence.

But recently the IDF’s artillery corps revealed that it uses bigger UASs, the Elbit System Hermes 450, for its operations. These tactical UASs are still operated by the Israeli airforce (IAF),  but when the operational need arises they   are allocated to the artillery units and serve them directly to enable fast and accurate fire.

The interesting point is that the UASs are operated when the artillery corps uses the Rafael Spike NLOS multi-purpose missile.

This cooperation between UAS units and artillery units is another proof to the “revolution” that the UASs have caused. AN increasing number of ground forces want to have dedicated UASs per mission and they get them because they improve the results.

A UAS carrying a very advanced electro-optical payload is an excellent way to find and allocate targets for the advanced non-line-of-sight missiles.

Spike NLOS has a range of 25km and can receive target data from other airborne platforms. Like other shorter-range members of this missile family, it is also fibre-optic controlled, which enables attack abortion or target change, two very important factors in urban fighting.

The UASs also help to avoid collateral damage, which is a major concern in urban fighting.

The current situation, where the IAF is still the operator of most of the UASs is about to change. The ground forces learn about the advantages they gain by having “in-house” UASs, and this will eventually change the current situation.

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