IDF believed to be using armed UAVs

While J'lem doesn't admit to possessing UAVs, it's been reported that Israel has been using them for nearly a decade.

August 8, 2012 04:05
2 minute read.
Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 UAV

Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 UAV 370 . (photo credit: Elbit Systems)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


It has been seen in public, filmed by Palestinians in Gaza and displayed at international air shows.

What is it? According to foreign reports, the IDF uses armed unmanned aerial vehicles to attack targets in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians even have a name for it – Waziz – a reference to the buzzing sound the UAVs make as they fly over the Gaza Strip.

While Jerusalem does not admit to possessing armed UAVs, it has been reported in the rest of the world that Israel has been using them for nearly a decade.

In 2006, for example, there were a number of reports regarding the use of armed UAVs in the Second Lebanon War against Hezbollah targets. One article speculated that the missiles fired by the UAVs were from the Spike family, manufactured by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Rafael has publicly pushed Spike as a weapons option for UAV. At the Paris Air Show in 2005, for example, Sagem – a leading French defense contractor – displayed its Sperwer UAV armed with a Spike missile.

Another example was displayed at the DSEI defense expo in London in 2011 when Thales suspended from the ceiling a Watchkeeper UAV with two missiles hanging from its wings. The Watchkeeper is used by the British Army and is based on Elbit Systems’ Hermes 450, which is also in extensive use in the Israel Air Force. Some of the drones are also operated by the IDF’s Artillery Corps.

In 2009, on the sidelines of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, there were reports that Israeli drones had flown to Sudan where they attacked a truck convoy carrying weapons – including long-range Iranian missiles – on its way to resupply Hamas forces.

The advantage of using armed UAVs is quite obvious – no risk to pilots, a smaller radar signature due to the smaller size of the aircraft in comparison to a standard fighter jet and the ability to fire small missiles that are suitable for targeted killings with limited collateral damage.

Israel is a world leader in the development of UAVs.

In 2010, Israeli companies sold $1 billion worth of UAVs and associated equipment around the world, and five different NATO countries – Germany, Australia, Spain, France and Canada – were flying Israeli-made drones in Afghanistan.

In the IAF, UAVs make up around a third of the force’s overall annual flight hours.

It also produces a couple hundred hours of visual intelligence on a daily basis, which then have to be processed and cataloged.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

idf hebron
August 22, 2014
Palestinians throw Molotov cocktail at IDF checkpoint in Hebron