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IDF trialling UAS in C-IED and C-UAS roles

Xtend's Griffon C-UAS engaging with a UAV using its net effector. (XTEND)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has been trialling unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in counter-UAS (C-UAS) and counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) roles to improve force protection.

Working alongside Israeli company Xtend, the IDF Yahalom special operations engineering unit (SOEU) has been experimenting with the company's Griffon C-UAS and Wolverine UAS over a four-year period to demonstrate their utility in a C-UAS and C-IED role, a platoon commander from the SOEU told Janes on 11 January.

For the C-UAS demonstration, the SOEU worked in collaboration with the US military to experiment with Griffon, a manportable quadcopter that kinetically intercepts aerial threats.

It achieves this by allowing the operator to perform “vision-assisted, semi-automated interceptions via expendable, disposable physical effectors that detach upon interception impact”, the company said.

During the C-UAS demonstrations, Griffon proved capable of intercepting both unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and balloons, achieving an 85% success rate. In one instance, the quadcopter successfully intercepted 20 “average-sized balloons”, the platoon commander said.

Balloons were employed during the trials because adversaries had previously attached explosive devices and ‘Molotov cocktails' to create rudimentary weapons that can evade air defences, he added.

For the C-IED mission,Xtend's Wolverine UAS, a quadcopter suited for tactical environments that can be fitted with a robotic arm for payload delivery and collection missions, was used to demonstrate the utility of unmanned platforms in a C-IED role.

The UAS was trialled in three different scenarios – reconnaissance, IED removal, and controlled explosive removal – over a three-year period, with incremental payload and capability changes implemented, the platoon commander said.

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