The Rotem "suicide drone" in action.
In early July, Israel Aerospace Industries demonstrated the Rotem UAS—a proof-of-concept quadcopter drone capable of providing both airborne surveillance and an explosive punch. The lightweight drone, which can be carried in a backpack and flown by one person, comes with a "combat head" that turns it into a guided weapon.
Rotem folds down into a package 38 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 5 inches high. According to a report from Israel Defense, the drone has a number of "automated modes." It has automatic take off and landing control, an emergency "return home" feature, and can navigate to a given set of coordinates or follow a pre-specified route without operator interaction. It can also be put into automated observation and attack modes once a target is designated, and the drone can "safe ditch" and disable its warhead if an attack is aborted.
A number of fixed-wing "loitering munitions" have been produced in the past, such as Aeronautics Defense Systems' Orbiter 1K—a suicide drone that drew unwanted attention when Aeronautics' live-fire sales demonstration to Azerbaijan turned into an attack on an Armenian military position. In the US, Textron developed Battlehawk—essentially a fixed-wing loitering hand grenade—in 2013. And the US Army started purchasing the tube-launched fixed-wing Switchblade from AeroVironment back in 2011.
Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments