My recent article for Jane’s Defense Weekly is about an IDF program to equipt infantry companies with commercially made drones.
The idea behind equipping smaller, company-sized units with their own drones is driven by a practical logic, as spelled out by the senior military source I spoke to for the article.
While larger units – battalions and brigades – have access to military grade drones (the Sky Lark 1 and 3), there is no reason why the smaller companies should not also receive the benefits that come from having a bird’s eye view of the battlefield.
“They will have the ability to get a high-quality picture from the air, as well as images from opposite angles,” the source stated. “The enemy was used to hiding behind a wall or a home. Suddenly, it is exposed from 360°.”
“In the past, only planes and drones that are expensive and complicated to operate could provide images to the company level.”
Later, the IDF’s companies will also receive military grade drones. In the meantime, instead of waiting for the military platforms to arrive, the IDF decided to go for the commercial drones now, thereby avoiding delays in giving companies their own extra eye hovering above, which could make a big difference in combat.