Israeli firms develop systems capable of controlling enemy drones
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Israeli firms develop systems capable of controlling enemy drones

Technology can be used to thwart attacks and gather information about UAVs; several drone-related strikes have been reported in recent days

ILLUSTRATIVE -- In this July 11, 2018 file photo, a drone equipped with a thermal camera flies over the plants at the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources' Jennings Environmental Education Center on July 11, 2018 in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
ILLUSTRATIVE -- In this July 11, 2018 file photo, a drone equipped with a thermal camera flies over the plants at the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources' Jennings Environmental Education Center on July 11, 2018 in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Israeli defense technology firms have recently developed systems that can take control of enemy drones to thwart attacks and gather information on them, a report said Wednesday.

The systems hand the operators complete control of the drone, allowing them to land it safely for analysis.

“The system we developed can detect hostile drones at a range of up to 3.5 kilometers (2.17 miles) and take control of about 200 drones simultaneously,” Asaf Lebovitz, product manager in Skylock, one of the companies, told the Haaretz daily.

The report came days after a series of drone-related attacks in neighboring Arab countries that were blamed on Israel. In one of them, the Israel Defense Forces said it had conducted a strike in Syria to thwart an attack by Iranian drones. In other incidents that took place in Lebanon, the IDF made no comment.

Skylock demonstrated its new invention at an event some two months ago, according to the report.

Product manager Asaf Lebovitz from the Israeli anti-drone tech company Skylock, explains the system’s main unit at the company’s offices in Petah Tikva, December 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

“We set a certain location where we want to gain control of the drone,” Lebovitz said. “We have the ability to disrupt the connection between the drone and the operator, and then gain remote control of it and land it, to check what it is carrying and whom it belongs to.”

Other Israeli companies are developing similar technology, the report said. Rafael recently introduced its Drone Dome anti-drone system, which is already operational and similarly takes control of potentially armed UAVs and lands them safely.

Tensions have skyrocketed on the northern border since Saturday night, when two members of the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group were killed in an Israeli strike in Syria aimed at preventing an Iranian drone attack on Israel, and two drones crashed in a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut, in an incident also blamed on Israel. On Monday, Lebanon claimed Israeli drones attacked a Palestinian base in the country’s east.

Two crates reportedly belonging to Hezbollah containing critical technical machinery that were destroyed in a drone strike attributed to Israel in Beirut on August 25, 2019. (Twitter)

Israel took credit for the Syria raid, but has not commented on the other strikes. The model of drone used in the Beirut attack has raised considerable questions about their provenance, with analysts suggesting they could be Iranian.

The target of the drone attack in Beirut was an expensive and rare industrial mixing machine used in the creation of solid fuel, and the raid set back the terror group’s plans to develop long-range precision missiles by at least a year, according to Hebrew media reports late Tuesday. After the attack, Hezbollah sources described the target as the group’s media offices.

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