WATCH: IDF uses hand-launched drones to search for kidnapped teens

Special forces unit Sky Rider carries drones into the field, launches them to provide real-time intel support for soldiers in Operation Brother's Keeper.

By LEV SELMON
June 18, 2014 12:12
2 minute read.
Sec.-Lt. Itzik Cohen holds a Sky Rider drone before takeoff.

SEC.-LT. ITZIK COHEN holds a Sky Rider drone before takeoff . (photo credit: YAAKOV LAPPIN)

 
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In the IDF's mission to locate the three missing yeshiva students kidnapped by terrorists late last week, Operation Brother's Keeper has mobilized intelligence and military assets from across the security spectrum, not least of all unmanned drones.

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Sky Rider is a special forces unit operating from within the Artillery Corps which has been at the forefront of the IDF operations within the West Bank in recent days. The outfit's "Skylark" drones can be carried into the field then subsequently set up and launched by its operators.



Those same operators then control the drone and provide real-time support to troops conducting operations on the ground, without delays incurred from coordination with drones operated by the air force from remote bases.

 


The close surveillance can alert operators conducting an arrest of approaching rioters or an escaping suspect.



Sky Rider's drones can hover for up to two hours, at varying heights and its small size means that it can’t be seen or heard, since its engine is electric and quiet. Those being watched don’t know it is there.

The Sky Rider is produced by Elbit Systems Ltd.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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