The Israel Defense Force (IDF) has expressed their interest in acquiring a fleet of suicide drones that are equipped with cameras and/or explosives and designed to emulate the Japanese Kamikaze pilots and suicide bombers such as those involved in the terrorist campaigns during the 9/11 attacks. These suicide drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and are being developed by weapons manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IA). Although there are no official plans for the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to act upon, there is significant interest and where there’s smoke there’s usually fire.
The oldest Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz reports that an Israel Aerospace Industry executive has outwardly publicized the interest and was independently confirmed by an unnamed military source. The current model in consideration for the IDF is the Rotem which is a Hebrew acronym for “attack and suicide drone”, not exactly subtle. And while a single unit can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars, the UAV can land and be reused if it hasn’t already been terminated. The fiscal costs pales in comparison to the air support the UAV will provide for ground troops when a manned aircraft is not available.
In fact the most alarming bit of news is that other foreign armies have already purchased these suicide drones no doubt with the intention to utilize them to the fullest extent. Thought the IAI would not disclosed which countries have purchased the UAVs, earlier this month accusations has surfaced of a HAROP drone was used in an attack on an Armenian convoy in the heart of the Nagorno-Karabakh region embroiled in dispute and conflict.
The HAROP and HARPY are earlier models of the Rotem and is a cross between an aircraft and a missile. Israel, India, and Azerbaijan are amongst those currently said to employ the unmanned vehicles. The Golden Child Rotem is small enough that two can be effectively carried by a single soldier in his pack and can be remotely controlled on a tablet computer to either hover silently over a target or ordered to detonate an explosive on a target. Alternatively the Rotem can always come equipped with a camera to design an automatic flight path and returned with the simple push of the “back” button.
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